Chelsea Goldschmidt Guidestone Rise Merlot, Alexander Valley 2019

Deep purple color; black fruits, black cherry, plum on floral nose; plum, black cherry, blackberry, chocolate, vanilla, oak on the palate.

Chelsea Goldschmidt Guidestone Rise Merlot, Alexander Valley 2019

Dry; tannic and tight on pop-and-pour, came around nicely after decanting. Light-full body. Lush and creamy after the decant. Generous with oak—spent 12 months in 65% French and 35% American new oak. Good, firm acidity (3.62 pH) helps balance the tannin and oak. Hearty, assertive, made in cabernet sauvignon style. 14.5% ABV

Nick Goldschmidt is the winemaker. Yolyn and Nick Goldschmidt are the owners. The wine is named for their eldest daughter—they have five children in all. Goldschmidt focuses on single-vineyard bottlings to showcase terroir and grape variety. This is 100% merlot. The goal is to achieve richness, balance, and quality. This does that especially well for a wine in this price range.

Nick Goldschmidt

This label focuses on the Alexander Valley and the Napa Valley Oakville appellations. This comes from a vineyard just east of Geyserville, in the Dry Creek Appellation. That area is slightly cooler than other Alexander Valley plots, thus the more concentrated and powerful merlot.

Goldschmidt also produces labels in New Zealand, Argentina, and Chile. Both Yolyn and Nick originally were from New Zealand, which you can pick up on quickly if you watch any of the several videos on the winery website.

Chelsea Goldschmidt Guidestone Rise Merlot, Alexander Valley 2019 is focused, assertive wine showcasing merlot’s black fruit and hearty side. After decanting, becomes smooth and very approachable while retaining its husky, serious wine bona fides. Runs in the same league as young Napa cabs and will have particular appeal to cab drinkers, as opposed to those who prefer merlot’s softer side. Pair meaty, flavorful fair—grilled steaks; grilled pork chops; lamb; veal; steak tacos; wood-fired pizza; barbecue chicken with plenty of saucy sauce; loaded hamburgers with fries and onion rings. $20-22

Goldschmidt Vineyards website

Goldschmidt children in the vineyard