An exciting new value wine project by Chateau St. Michelle and legendary Northstar winemaker, David ‘Merf’ Merfeld, MERF Wines focuses on easy-drinking, every day wines. Originally from Iowa, Merf joined the Northstar winemaking team in 2001. He then graduated to enologist and assistant winemaker before becoming the winery’s winemaker in 2005.
This story dates all the way back to 1990 as Merf was originally drawn to the Northwest and eventually relocated to Washington in order to focus on craft brewing. But when the opportunity arose to apply his knowledge of fermentation science to making wine at Northstar, he then jumped ship into making wine full time. At Northstar Merf has focused on crafting some of the best Merlot wines in the state since 2005. His Northstar wines have gained international acclaim. I can remember some older Northstar ‘Columbia Valley’ Merlot bottlings that were particularly memorable, particularly the fruity and beautifully layered 2003 Northstar Merlot.
This year he and Chateau St. Michelle Estates launched a new brand that focuses on everyday, easy-drinking red and white wines under his own label. The new MERF wines were fruit forward and were good, coming from the warm 2015 vintage. These are both great wines for a summer BBQ and are both priced at around ten dollars. Learn more about this project at merfwines.com
Here are the new releases by MERF Wines.
2015 MERF Wines Chardonnay- Toasty oak and brioche fill the nose. The palate has a good amount of oak as well but shows off butterscotch and buttered popcorn flavors that add to the deliciousness of this viscous Chardonnay. Drink 2018-2022- 88
2015 MERF Wines Cabernet Sauvignon- The nose takes on dark fruits with toasty oak and a touch of chocolate. Fruity and seductive, this slightly sweet Cabernet has black fruits with a vanilla towards the back end. This is a very good value Cabernet, particularly for those who want their red wine on the fruity side. Drink 2018-2022- 87