MadoroM Vineyards and Winery 2016 Merlot, The Paul Bunyan of Merlot’s

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The Story of Paul Bunyan, is that he was a giant lumberjack of mythical stature in lumber camps in the United States. He symbolized a bigness, strength and vitality. More to follow below.

The Winery

MadoroM Vineyards and Winery is a family affair creating handcrafted and artisan wines from Napa Valley grapes. They produce, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, a Proprietary Red Blend (see a previous article at: ) and Sauvignon Blanc. Their new tasting room is located on the Silverado Trail. MadoroM wines is a collaboration of Andy and Marissa Amador and the talented winemaker Mike Blom. At age 27, Andy purchased a 188 acre ranch in the eastern Napa Valley and he planted 50 acres on the property. He later planted a vineyard at the base of Mt. Veeder. The name MadoroM is an incorporation of all their names!

The Wine

If you are a fan of the move Sideways and distain Merlot’s that are blah and timid Merlot’s, I would like to introduce you to a “meaty and hearty Merlot”!  Having never tried this wine, I was somewhat expecting a disappointment. But once the cork was pulled, I knew something special was in store. On the eyes a charismatic brick red juice presented itself with a medium heavy viscosity. On the nose, juicy red plum overcame the senses with expectation of a rich and lavish Merlot. On the palate, red and tart cherries burst into the mouth, bringing with it lightly toasted oakiness, followed by surprisingly defined tannins and structure not normally associated with Merlot. On the finish it was a mouth filling delight with a longish and drawn out enjoyment. This is why I called it the Paul Bunyan of Merlot’s! Personally I think to the average consumer in a blind tasting, it might even pass as a Cabernet Sauvignon! What a great find. It is listed on their website for $70 and it is a steal for this big, bold and delicious Merlot.

The Food and Wine Pairing

A fantastically prepared Andouille Cajun Rice Skillet dish was chosen to pair with the wine. This was a “warm temperature flavor” dish with spiciness and far reaching textual appeal in the mouth. The recipe called for Andouille Cajun sausage, yellow onion, red & yellow bell peppers, minced garlic, Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning, kosher salt, tomato paste, fresh sliced Roma tomatoes, crushed red peppers and brown rice. A fresh garden salad with chucky Blue cheese dressing on the side. Paired with the 2016 MadoroM Merlot was an excellent choice to counterbalance the spiciness and big flavor of the meal. As an aside, the meal may have been a little too spicy to fully appreciate the wonderful wine.

This wine just made my list of the Best Wines tasted in 2021. The list will be published December 15th 2021 and over 1600 wines will have been tasted and roughly only 3% make the list. MadoroM Merlot will be listed.

If you have been turned off by Merlot’s, this 2016 MadoroM Merlot will bring you back to being an advocate of this once popular wine.




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