I have been a fan of this winery for about 10 years, mostly for the Zin and Sangiovese. I figured that the merlot would probably be a good bet so I decided to bring one home and try it with dinner the following night. Typical for wines from the region there is a lot of flavor to balance the high alcohol, not unlike wines from other hot climates such as Livermore or the Sierra foothills. This Pietra Santa 2010 Cienega valley Merlot is very dense and flavorful-probably will last a long time in the bottle-of course, not at our house.....it was great immediately. This was found at Shopper's Corner in Santa Cruz for $ 14.99 but can be bought from the winery directly or at better nor-cal wine shops. This is a small production wine but available in more places than one would think. I'll give it 8 1/2 swiggs.....a super good weekend wine.