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The 2013 Merlot from Esterlina is composed of fruit pulled from the estate vineyard in Cole Ranch, the smallest AVA in the US.  It’s a delightful wine, smooth and elegant with gentle tannin and a bright berry acidity.  Red fresh cherry, cassis, and firm plum all blend on the palate, with hints of violet, rose and tobacco developing as the wine breathes.  Expect similar structure to right bank Bordeaux, with just a bit more fruit up front, making for a very approachable yet high quality wine.  Enjoy now through 2023. - DZ July 2016


2013 Esterlina Merlot Cole Ranch
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    Mendocino County, California
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Not your typical California Merlot! From the White House to your house, Esterlina is the label of both special occasions and weekday family dinners. And today, we are bringing you an absolutely fabulous Merlot full of traditional Bordeaux-like characteristics. Think complexity and a medium body designed to age very well. Its earthy flavors and nice structure are unique to its Cole Ranch terroir.

We have found a real star of Mendocino County! “Small quantity, high quality” is the Sterling Family’s style. They take their wines very seriously, but the rest not-so-much. Offering light-hearted and FUN private tastings that come complete with Cheetos as a palate cleanser, this crew knows how to bring wine-loving, good times to life!

Reasons why we love it:

Cole Ranch is America’s smallest AVA with Esterlina owning the ONLY vineyard in this premier appellation resting in the mountains just three miles from where the Russian River elegantly flows through Mendocino. Rising 1,400 feet above sea level, this unique and richly satisfying vineyard receives the benefits of a cool evening, maximum shade morning and afternoon and an exceptionally long growing season. Why should you care? The results are highly regarded earthy and steady wines with fresh balanced acidity...points that greatly distinguish this Merlot from any of its neighboring regions. In other words, we get the pleasure of offering our Members something you truly can’t find anywhere else in California!

Made by a doctor to be enjoyed by all! Son Eric Sterling, M.D. was featured on the Prince of Pinot explaining how his medical profession brings uniqueness and vitality to his winemaking profession: “I think physicians are attracted to winemaking for many of the same reasons they pursued medicine. Both are an art and science. Winemaking allows for development of both halves of our brains. Plus, it’s fun and satisfying to create something from start to finish.”

We believe Sterling’s happiness is strongly reflected in this Merlot of exceptional quality. And we have found that sipping on this vintage guarantees something unique, something magical. You won’t find a sub $20 Merlot with this much pizazz. This much heart. This much fine satisfaction to be enjoyed any day of the week!


From a superb vintage, this wine introduces itself with enticing perfumy aromas of cherries and briar fruit that fill not just the glass but the space around the glass. This Merlot shines with juicy, chewy flavors of cherry pie, blackberry, strawberry, minerality and soil – an elegant, mouth-filling wine whose lengthy finish will leave you wanting more.


Esterlina Vineyards is a family-owned, California winery.

We produce a variety of exceptional fine wines in limited quantities from grapes grown primarily in our family's own vineyards. We produce wines from our vineyards in three different appellations. In fact, Esterlina owns the only vineyard in the Cole Ranch Appellation, which is America's smallest American Viticultural Area (AVA).

Esterlina wines are handcrafted -- there is no assembly line manufacturing case after case. Our family grows the grapes, makes the wine, and bottles each varietal we offer.
While the wine conglomerates offer similar varietals, few wineries make their wines the way we do: bottle by bottle. From our world-class, award-winning Pinot Noirs, to our sought after Cabernet Sauvignon, wine enthusiasts love Esterlina wines. Our family's wines have been served at the White House on several occasions, and we hope you'll serve them at your house on special occasions - or any occasion. Come see us and enjoy a great wine tasting experience with stunning views of the Dry Creek Valley.


Try along side a few grilled dishes, such as Tri-tip, lamb chops, smoky eggplant or burgers.