Welcome to MERRILL CELLARS. We hope to make your reading, shopping and sharing of our wine, enjoyable.
As Robert Mondavi said in his Autobiography Harvest of Joy, "Wine to me is a passion. It's family and friends. It's warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. Wine is Culture. It's the essence of civilization and the art of living."
Whether you're at an outside music festival, or watching a sunset walking on the beach, savor the times of enjoyment you have. Enjoy a gourmet meal, or a simple picnic, but create a special memory today, with a special wine. We hope to fill that thought, to provide your wine, so you enjoy these things together. Life is not a badge of where you've been, or what you've collected, but of who you have become.
At MERRILL CELLARS, we could go on and on about our various "terroirs'", our award winning winemakers, our impeccable selection of grapes, our use of Francois Freres French and Special American oak barrels, or how we nuture the creation of wine. Instead, we believe the wines will speak for themselves, speak of the earth, show our care. Our wines are fine examples of classic style wines from the Rhone Valley, Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Oregon. We've entered wine festivals, collected a couple Platinum medals, the rest mostly Gold, Peoples' Choice, or Best of Show. Our "Cotes du Rogue" was wine jury selected to represent the Independant Winemakers of the Northwest at the 2011 Portland Indie Wine Festival. Only 14 Wineries had such a honor. Amongst our favorite awards was our Peoples Choice Awards for our Tempranillo, It's always a crowd favorite. We recieved the people's choice for Red wines at the Ashland Fall Food and Wine Classic. Our 2011 Chardonnay Reserve was selected by 20 fellow winemakers as best overall Oregon Wine at a 2013 Trade show. That same Chardonnay with all its huge flavors and perfect acid balance was voted the "Peoples Choice" award at SunRiver Wine Fest. The next year our Tempranillo won People's Choice. Wine Spectator has rated seven of our wines an average 90.28 points. Oregon Wine Geeks has rated every wine ever made and our average is 90.8 points. We are very proud to have these lofty results. We have TEN current wines with independent ratings of 90+.
MERRILL CELLARS has two brands of wine, our signature Artist Series featuring accomplished Oregon "plein air" artist Ken Roth, and our "Reserve" wines. We truly only give this Reserve designation to wines we feel are special wines from special vintages, and special styles. All our wines are excellent, but some more so. The extraordinary Oregon landscapes by Ken Roth reflect the personality of each wine. Ken and I took time and care to choose the art that we felt best suited the style of wine inside.
While the Willamette Valley of Oregon is famous for it's Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay, we feel the Rogue Valley should be equally famous for it's Syrah, Viognier, Tempranillo, Cab Franc, and Rhone Blends. With these Rhone Varietals, we created our "Cotes du Rogue" style wines.
The variety of terriors from which we harvest our grapes vary from the famed "Meredith Mitchell Vineyard" in the Willamette Valley, to our hottest at 1200 feet elevation and south facing, where some of our Syrah and Viognier grow, to our coolest terrior Rogue Valley terrior at almost 2000 feet elevation. That is the Fortmiller Vineyard, home of some very nice Pinot Noir's. In 2011 we harvested Chardonnay, and "Merrilltage" our Bourdeaux Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.
In 2012 we began our Tempranillo, and Steelhead Run Syrah and Viognier. During my search for the best Syrah and Viognier in Oregon, I decided to make two single vineyard Syrah's one from Syrah Noir and 877 Clone the other from the very rare Hermitage Clone. These I either co-ferment with 3-5% Viognier or just use the Viognier skins. (There is a story there too!)
Stay tuned for future updates.
Wine is our passion. O.Jay Merrill Vintner/CEO