Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

PlumpJack Winery

Wine barrels and vineyards at PlumpJack Winery in Napa Valley, CA

Profile: PlumpJack was founded by the future Mayor of San Francisco Gavin Newsom and Gordon (son of J. Paul) Getty in 1995. But the label's winemaking facility and Oakville vineyard are steeped in Napa history, both dating back to the 1800s. From its beginning, PlumpJack has focused on Cabernet Sauvignon. Its Reserve Cab has garnered much critical acclaim (and reached international notoriety as one of the first age-worthy, American reds to be bottled with a screw cap closure). But over the years, the winery's label has expanded to include Syrah, Chardonnay and Merlot.

Wine label of PlumpJack 2010 Merlot

2010 Merlot
Varietal/Style: Merlot
Napa Valley, CA
Vintage: 2010
Winemaker: Aaron Miller
Rating: 15/20
Retail Price: $52

Tasting Notes:
The 2010 Merlot offers classic Napa ripe fruit flavors that are balanced by zippy acidity. Its nose is bright and complex with plum and blackberry, cinnamon and toasted oak. Up front fruit flavors feature sweet black currant with roasted plum and raspberry notes toward the mid-palate. Rich fudge, cinnamon and espresso notes linger on the finish. A big, winter warmer of a wine, it would work on its own, sipped in front of a roaring fire. Or pair it with rustic meat dishes like succulent short ribs or pot roast.

Wine of the Week January 21, 2013:
2010 Merlot

Other PlumpJack wines we have tasted:
2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
2011 Reserve Chardonnay

620 Oakville Cross Rd.
Oakville, CA 94562

Other Wineries


(Updated: 03/08/13 BH)

Sip on GAYOT's picks of the best small-production craft beers.

Sip straight or mix up a margarita with GAYOT's picks of the best tequilas under $100.