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2009 Rock Gate Winery California Merlot

2009 Rock Gate Winery California Merlot

This soft wine offers impressions of cassis, assorted berries, olive and oak.

Varietal: Merlot Vintage: 2009
Member Ratings
59 Reviews (2.0/5.0) Rate this wine
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About This Wine

Rock Gate Winery crafts several wines, but Merlot is the house specialty.

Why? Because the folks at Rock Gate are “foodies,” and few red wines are as versatile with food as Merlot. While they wait for their Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings to evolve in the cellar, they can drink their soft and supple Merlot with tonight’s meal.

You don’t have to be a “foodie” to understand the concept of instant gratification, and that’s what you’ll experience when you open a bottle of Rock Gate Merlot. The wine has an engaging aroma that’s both fruitful and slightly herbal, and once you swirl it in the glass, you’ll wonder if somebody brought a basket of fresh-picked berries into the room.

That berry impression extends to the flavor, joined by an impression of cassis along with hints of olive and oak. Given its eclectic flavor mix, it’s little wonder Rock Gate Merlot can be paired successfully with so many different dishes.

About Merlot

Similar to Cabernet Sauvignon but with less tannin and fruit. Delivers earlier maturing wines. Often blended with Cabernet; on its own may soften with age, though fruit flavors may fade.

More About Merlot

Tasting Notes

  • Grape Composition:81% Merlot and 19% Other Red Varieties
  • Grape Source:Select Vineyards in Various California Growing Regions
  • Aromas & Flavors:Cassis, Assorted Berries, and Hints of Olive & Oak
  • Aging Vessels:Assorted Oak Barrels
  • When to Drink:Now Through 2013
  • Food Pairing Suggestionmeatloaf, or a roast beef sandwich.

Member Ratings

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2.0/ 5.0

59 Reviews

    The fragrance of fresh berries nearly overwhelmed us when we first opened the bottle, and the flavor got better with each taste!

    2/13/2011 Judith
    • Rater Rank 1,613
    • Number of Ratings 1
    • Average 5

    Although the suggestion was to pair this wine with beef; we found it excellent with various cheeses.

    2/17/2011 Katherine Benford
    • Rater Rank 1,480
    • Number of Ratings 3
    • Average 4.33333333333

    Wonderful, soft, satisfying, flavorful.

    2/22/2011 Ralph Schmitt
    • Rater Rank 127
    • Number of Ratings 38
    • Average 3.02631578947

    VERY smooth and pleasant taste.

    2/23/2011 Harlan Steinle
    • Rater Rank 1,312
    • Number of Ratings 5
    • Average 4.6

    Yuck! Tastes like it was made in a bathtub. I can't believe any wine club would ship this swill. Seriously....89 Points? The "tasting panel" was clearly drunk when rating this wine. This month's shipment came with three different 2009 reds all "rated" 89. Way to bring your A game tasting panel.

    3/01/2011 Sam
    • Number of Ratings 1

    Wonderful Excellent taste!

    3/04/2011 Holly Holmes
    • Rater Rank 1,585
    • Number of Ratings 1
    • Average 5

    Has kick and umph... an amazing Merlot!!!

    3/24/2011 Maricarmen Castro
    • Number of Ratings 1

    My husband and I both agreed this was awful tasting.

    3/30/2011 Nancy
    • Number of Ratings 1

    The flavor of berries and other fruits was very pleasant. What surprised me was the almost frizzante fizz I got when I opened the bottle, and the tingle that filled my mouth when I tasted it. The wine appeared to have undergone a secondary fermentation, since the cork came out incredibly easily and was slightly flared. I don't see this mentioned in any of the previous comments, so I suspect I got a flawed bottle.

    4/02/2011 rsnake1
    • Number of Ratings 1

    I thought it was very effervescent. Amy liked it because it wasn't as sweet as she thought Merlots tasted.

    4/02/2011 Aaron
    • Number of Ratings 1

    I wasn't sure if there was supposed to be carbonation in this merlot and I think it took away from the intended flavors. The aftertaste wasn't too pleasant either. I'm not a Merlot fan and this wine definitely didn't help!

    4/05/2011 Mike
    • Rater Rank 1,540
    • Number of Ratings 1
    • Average 2

    Very bad wine, it tasted like a old soda.

    4/06/2011 Jorge De Santiago
    • Number of Ratings 1

    Very good! Everyone thought it was excellent. Pleasing taste.

    4/07/2011 Rodney
    • Rater Rank 328
    • Number of Ratings 15
    • Average 4.06666666667

    This is the worst bottle of wine I have had in my 12 years of drinking wine. As soon as it was poured it appeared to have a bit carbonation in it. There aroma was that of rotten apples. If this bottle is any representation of the winery I am truly dissapointed and do not ever wish to purchase any wine from this winery. I hope to get my money back. Perhaps there needs to be a better screening of these wines.

    4/09/2011 Carlos
    • Rater Rank 1,538
    • Number of Ratings 1
    • Average 1

    My sentiments exactly - the absolute worst wine I have ever tasted. Merlot is not supposed to be carbonated!

    4/12/2011 Shirley
    • Number of Ratings 1

    The wine was actually fizzy when I poured the rest of the bottle down the drain. A truly awful wine.

    4/12/2011 Lawrence Moskal
    • Number of Ratings 1

    I received 2 bottels and when both were opened, the cork popped (like champagne). Both bottels tasted like vinegar.

    4/16/2011 Melissa Ness
    • Rater Rank 853
    • Number of Ratings 12
    • Average 3.41666666667

    Pops like a shaken pop bottle each time its opened. Assume it's turned. Tried 3 of the 6 bottles in our first shipment. All tasted like homemade wine. Will try one more shipment. If it's the same then will assume your panel is made up of high school kids and will cancel

    4/18/2011 Amos Tsikayi
    • Rater Rank 1,523
    • Number of Ratings 1
    • Average 1

    This was terrible at the first sip. Neither my husband nor I got past sip number two. Truly awful wine.

    4/18/2011 Sheila
    • Number of Ratings 1

    I wasn't expecting a fizzy merlot so I had to search to see if there might be something wrong with the wine. My impression is that there was not enough flavor to make it through the sour fizz. I won't purchase it again or recommend it for siping/drinking.

    4/20/2011 Deborah H
    • Number of Ratings 1

    nice and mellow, slightly oakie

    4/22/2011 lee urness
    • Rater Rank 1,408
    • Number of Ratings 3
    • Average 3.33333333333

    I had gotten this wine in an earlier shippment and very much liked it. I then recieved two bottle in one shippment and saved for a special occasion.I opened one bottle and found it extremely dry and very carbonated for a merlot. I open the second one that I had kept and it was the same. I was not impressed at all. They were not at all like I remembered. I ended up dumping them and opened something else.

    4/22/2011 Lucy Hilleshiem
    • Rater Rank 1,516
    • Number of Ratings 1
    • Average 1

    When poured wine was foamy. Almost like a beer when poured.

    4/25/2011 Peter Karadimos
    • Rater Rank 1,511
    • Number of Ratings 1
    • Average 1

    Awful, very fizzy like opening a cola drink. Something wrong with this wine. I tried a sip to taste it but could not bring myself to swallow it. Two bottles down the drain.

    4/30/2011 Max Moroz
    • Number of Ratings 1

    Didn't like this wine at all. Tasted like a carbonated beverage.

    5/01/2011 Gina Salazar
    • Number of Ratings 1

    First bottle from Vinesse that deserved to be poured down the drain. Foamy, sour, no taste. Not my style.

    5/04/2011 Dennis
    • Rater Rank 1,499
    • Number of Ratings 1
    • Average 1

    The wine tasted so rich and smooth. Tried a bottle of wine to compare and there was such a difference. This California Merlot was better!

    5/05/2011 Sophia Leboeuf
    • Number of Ratings 1

    My sister-in-law and I opened my first bottle and loved it! Sencond bottle was foamy and acidic, I have no idea why there was such a difference. My best guess, cork failure.

    5/06/2011 Bobbie
    • Number of Ratings 1

    I am online looking for a direct shipment. Both of my bottles were great! A different type of Merlot, smooth yet a tang. I would take 6 bottles of these on my next shipment.

    5/08/2011 Richard Saurers
    • Number of Ratings 1

    I agree with some of the reviews. It was foamy and tasted like a carbonated beverage": Undrinkable I do not believe that this is the way it is intended to be. I assume that there is a problem with the cork or this specific wine.

    5/08/2011 Claudia Ruiz
    • Number of Ratings 1

    Bad cork...bad wine

    5/09/2011 D Ban
    • Number of Ratings 1

    This wine was kept in a commercial wine refrigerator from the moment I received it until this evening. Upon opening it and then pouring it, it foamed as if it were carbinated. The taste was off. I could not drink this wine. It was a complete waste.

    5/15/2011 Carol Sussman
    • Rater Rank 1,491
    • Number of Ratings 1
    • Average 1

    the winw was spoiled (it had gas)

    5/19/2011 Rogelio Arellano
    • Number of Ratings 1

    I think this bottle was bad.

    5/23/2011 Paula
    • Number of Ratings 1

    Just opened my second bottle that was shipped in April to me. It was fizzy/carbonated, as was the first bottle. Obviously a bad cork and double fermented. I see that other members received similar bad bottles. Was any of this merlot shipped to members any good? Rockgate should put out an apology for its poor quality product.

    6/12/2011 David O'meilia
    • Rater Rank 1,463
    • Number of Ratings 1
    • Average 1

    Very disappointed, both bottles were fizzy. Tasted like carbonated wine. I would like them to be replaced.

    7/04/2011 Robert Cronk
    • Rater Rank 1,391
    • Number of Ratings 2
    • Average 2.5

    We opened this wine and allowed it to breathe for about 15 minutes. When we poured it in the glass it seemed to "foam up" leaving a layer of foam on top of the wine. When we tasted it, the wine seemed "bad" it was almost like it was carbinated. Not good!!!

    7/11/2011 Rebecca Werdall
    • Rater Rank 1,431
    • Number of Ratings 1
    • Average 1

    What in the world?! Fizzy Merlot? I would like to exchange it for one of the bottles that your reviewer tasted and raved about. I wonder if it's safe to drink?

    8/09/2011 Bonnie Moore
    • Number of Ratings 1

    Just opened a bottle last night that was shipped to me in Feb. It was fizzy / carbonated, it was not fit for consumption.

    8/27/2011 Gary
    • Number of Ratings 1

    had the same experience with the wine being fizzy. what the heck??

    8/29/2011 Jana
    • Number of Ratings 1

    Wine had a bubbly taste (similar to a brut) which I did not particularly like.

    9/05/2011 June Zimmerman
    • Number of Ratings 1

    My bottle had over fermented and was effervescent.

    9/12/2011 Suzanne Chiarito
    • Rater Rank 1,356
    • Number of Ratings 1
    • Average 1

    Something was wrong with the fermentation process of this wine. It spewed like a shaken can of soda when I opened. Overly sweet and undrinkable.

    9/14/2011 Will
    • Rater Rank 18
    • Number of Ratings 34
    • Average 3.61764705882

    What planet are they from? A carbonated wine? Absolutely the worst wine to cross my lips! Wish I could rate this less than 1 (actually less than 0)....negative 8 is about right!!

    9/14/2011 Jim Durbin
    • Number of Ratings 1

    Fizzy and undrinkable. Got about 1/2 inch of foam when pored into the glass.

    10/15/2011 Oksana
    • Number of Ratings 1

    My first poor bottle of wine from Vinesse. Wine was foamy; almost as if carbonated. Had a 'tangy' taste. Not good.

    10/27/2011 Steve Smiley
    • Number of Ratings 1

    Worst taste ever, almost hits taste buds as sparkling wine. Is it possible that it's spoiled?

    11/15/2011 Doug Davidson
    • Rater Rank 1,259
    • Number of Ratings 1
    • Average 1

    Bad, fizzed up like champagne.

    11/28/2011 MaryAnn Smith
    • Number of Ratings 1

    We received this wine back in February. We opened it tonight for dinner (11/29) and as it poured into the glasses, in was fizzing. The wine had turned bad. Perhaps, the wine would have been OK if used as soon as we received it, but who knows. I cannot recommend this wine. This is the first bad bottle of wine we have ever experienced in the years we have been a member, so that does say something good about the club.

    11/29/2011 Daniel Farkas
    • Rater Rank 1,246
    • Number of Ratings 1
    • Average 1

    Yes, the fizz surprised me but it reminded me of a similar wine I experienced in Italy. I opened it at a wine party and everyone agreed it was interesting and good (once you accepted the fizz)

    1/11/2012 Beanie
    • Number of Ratings 1

    Of two bottles both had gone bad, were fizzy and foamed over when cork was pulled.

    3/26/2012 Don Carlson
    • Number of Ratings 1


    6/12/2012 Jake
    • Number of Ratings 1

    An effervescent taste, mild.

    7/31/2014 Tom Steury
    • Rater Rank 4
    • Number of Ratings 125
    • Average 4.536


14 recipes match for this wine.

  • Smoked Salmon Penne Pasta In a world of anything-goes-food-and-wine pairing, we're on the lookout for recipes that match well with red OR white wines. This is one such recipe, and it makes two servings... Get The Recipe
    Portuguese Style Roasted Pork Rare is the recipe that matches equally well with red wines and white wines. This is such a recipe. We came across it while doing research on the wines that will be included in an upcoming club shipment from The World of Wines -featuring the wines of Portugal. The recipe makes 6 servings. And if you'd like to learn more about The World of Wine, click on the Get The Recipe
    Duck Breast With Red Wine Risotto This recipe calls for a good quality red wine, and we suggest either Pinot Noir, Merlot. Whichever you choose, we also suggest serving that wine with the meal. This recipe makes 4 servings. Get The Recipe
    Mustard Crusted Rack Of Lamb Try this tasty recipe, which serves 4more, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, a red blend containing any of the aforementioned varieties... Get The Recipe
    Pan Fried Lamb Chops This recipe, which makes 4 servings, features flavors that can be enjoyed with virtually any red wine. Turn it into a complete meal with a side dish jasmine rice. Get The Recipe
  • Slow Cooking Stew A flavorful wine such as MalbecMerlot calls for a flavorful main dish. This tasty recipe fits the bill deliciously, and makes about 6 servings. And now that the kids are back in school, be aware that it's a meal you... Get The Recipe
    Boneless Leg Of Lamb This recipe, developed by the late James Beard, matches beautifully with Shiraz a.k.a. Syrah, Shiraz/Cabernet blends and Merlot. It serves 6-8... Get The Recipe
    Pork Chops With Blueberry Sauce This recipe makes 4 servings, and matches wonderfully with Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Merlot and red blends... Get The Recipe
    Cabernet Sauvignon Ice Cream Our friends at Alexander Valley Vineyards came up with this wonderful recipe a few years ago. We've tried it with Cabernet Sauvignon as the recipe calls for, as well as Merlot, Primitivo, Cabernet Franc and Zinfandel... and every time, it turns out delicious! It's best made with an ice cream maker, and if you have such a machine, it's extremely easy to assemble. Enjoy! Get The Recipe
    Garlic Grilled Chicken The following recipe, which serves 4, transforms a classic white wine dish -chicken - into a perfect partner for red wines such as Merlot and Syrah. The secret? The generous use of garlic. Get The Recipe
  • French Lamb Shank Stew With White Beans This recipe, from The Mauna Loa Macadamia Cooking Treasury matches wonderfully with Malbec, Merlot Sangiovese Rhone red blends. It serves 6... Get The Recipe
    Lemony Lamb Chops Here's a versatile dish that matches well with red Bordeaux, Merlot, yet also can be enjoyed with white wines because of its lemon-flavored sauce. It makes 4 servings... Get The Recipe
    Tuscan Style Roasted Game Hens If you're looking for a change from turkey, ham this holiday season, try this easy-to-prepare dish that matches well with both white and red wines. It serves 6... Get The Recipe
    Pork Tenderloin With Tart Cherry Port And Caraway Sauce This delicious recipe from Sonoma County's J. Fritz Winery matches beautifully with almost any red wine. It makes 4 to 6 servings. Get The Recipe
$12.99 / Bottle $155.88 / Case
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