Awards'Antigua' Dessert Wine

People are talking about Merryvale wines! Here are a few of our most recent awards and accolades for this 'Antigua' Dessert Wine.

November 17, 2011
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

"Thanksgiving Dessert Wines"

'Antigua' Dessert Wine

Here are some locally produced favorites...

Merryvale Antigua Dessert Wine: Merryvale makes this wine using Muscat de Frontignan grapes harvested from 1970 to 1983 and again from 1992 to 1994 and fortifying the wine with pot-still brandy crafted in the Napa Valley, like a port. The whole lot then ages in French oak barrels for an average of 11 years, turning it a deep butterscotch color and allowing aromas and flavors of orange peel and hazelnut to settle in.

- Virginie Boone

January 10, 2011
2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

'Antigua' Dessert Wine

Results are just in from the SF Chron Wine Competition, which is now the largest competition of domestic wines at over 5,000 entries.

- Tasting Panel

November 17, 2010
KRSH - The Krush 95.9FM

"Thanksgiving Wine Picks!"

'Antigua' Dessert Wine

Merryvale Antigua is the featured dessert selection for Thanksgiving Wine Picks!

- Ziggy, the Wine Gal

March 22, 2010
The Amateur Gastronomer Blog
A Hidden Treasure

"AG PICK: Merryvale Antigua Dessert Wine"

'Antigua' Dessert Wine

One of the best things is discovering a wine that you forgot was in your collection. It’s like finding a hidden treasure that you never knew you buried.

I had that experience this weekend with Merryvale Antigua dessert wine. I purchased a few bottles several years ago and somehow my last remaining bottle had migrated to the back of my liquor cabinet, hiding behind bottles of rum, scotch and tequila that I haven’t looked at in months, if not longer.

I became a fan of Merryvale wines after drinking a bottle of their Starmont Merlot on my 22nd birthday. A couple of years later, it was the first winery I visited during my first trip to Napa.

I remember that first visit because it’s when I tasted the Antigua dessert wine. Relatively new to fortified wines, I was intrigued by the Antigua’s flavors and complexity. I asked for a second taste before I finished my first one.
The Antigua is made from Muscat de Frontignan and fortified with the addition of California brandy. The wine is aged an average of 11 years in French oak, which enhances the flavor and helps to give the wine its beautiful amber-gold color.

Your first sniff of the Antigua welcomes you in with enticing aromas of orange peel and almond that continue to develop in your mouth. These flavors are rounded out with hazelnut, caramel and a slight hint of milk chocolate-covered espresso beans on the warm and lingering finish. The rich and thick mouthfeel will leave you satisfied, yet craving another sip.

The Antigua is delicious on its own or it can be served with cheese or desserts ranging from crème brûlée to chocolate cake.

- Robin Austin, Food & Wine Blogger

June 01, 2009
Quarterly Review of Wines

"Merryvale's Wines"

'Antigua' Dessert Wine

Merryvale's unique dessert wine is a lush blend of fortified Muscat from vintages 1970 through 1983 and 1992 through 1997. Made in solera style (a layered meld of different vintages), the wine is intoxicatingly aromatic, with apricot and orange peel, and the texture is fleshy and thick.

- Richard Paul Hinkle

June 19, 2008
Orange County Register

"Weekly Wine Picks"

'Antigua' Dessert Wine

Medium amber color. Nutty toasted almond, frangipani, candied orange peel and dried apricot aromas and flavors with hints of caramel and sherry notes. Fortified with fine brandy and aged an average of 11 years in French oak. An interesting dessert wine with intrigue and nuance.

- Lynne Char Bennett

February 01, 2007
Gourmet Magazine

"RECOMMENDED WINE for Romantic Dinner"

'Antigua' Dessert Wine

"... As for our fondue, chocolate is never easy on a dessert wine, but Merryvale Antigua, a Muscat de Frontignan blend drawn from vintages that go back to 1970, has the power to withstand chocolate's underlying bitterness but still marries well with the accompanying raspberries and macaroons."

- Gerald Asher

December 01, 2002
Wine Country This Week


'Antigua' Dessert Wine

A golden treat and a dessert on its own, the flavor is a complex blend of almonds and citrus peel, chiefly oranges. It’s a subtle and haunting wine, a wine to linger over with good friends and good conversation.

- Larry Walker

September 07, 2001


'Antigua' Dessert Wine

The intense tawny orange color is the first giveaway that this is no ordinary wine. Adding to the mystique is an eye-pleasing square bottle.

But it is the elixir itself, with its nutty, orange and butterscotch aromas, that completes the seduction.

Hailing from Napa Valley's Merryvale Vineyards, Antigua is a dessert wine that grabs you by your eyes, nose, tongue and throat.

Unlike most other dessert wines stemming from the same vintage, Antigua's Muscat is derived from vintages 1970 to 1983 and 1992 to 1994. So this is a non-vintage dated wine, but it has aged in French oak barrels and tanks for an average of 11 years.

The Muscat grape is renowned for its orange flavors and, because this Muscat is fortified with fine pot-still brandy, Antigua is thick and rich on the tongue, almost like syrup. The orange mingles with nut flavors for an amazingly long finish; it's somewhere between heavenly and orgasmic.

Antigua is a perfect match with almond biscotti, fresh stone fruits (the fancy phrase for peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots and cherries), tiramisu, crème brûlée and pecan pie. Once you taste it, though, this might be all the dessert you need.

- Michael S. Lasky

March 23, 2001
Dallas Morning News Wine Competition 2001


'Antigua' Dessert Wine

May 03, 2000
Syndicated Newspapers

'Antigua' Dessert Wine

...amber-colored and quite sherrylike and powerful. It's a savory blend that tastes like almonds, orange zest, toffee and brandied raisins with a back-note of bittersweet chocolate. Once sold only at the winery, this luscious after-dinner sipper is available at about $22 for a stylish half bottle.

- Fredric Koeppel

December 15, 1999
91 Points

"Best of the Year"

'Antigua' Dessert Wine

Oaky, butterscotch scents pour forth from this orange-colored wine. Flavors center around nutty, orangey nuances, with the wood notes reasserting themselves on the finish... an intense and unique dessert wine that bears a resemblance to some sherries to some sherries and tawnies.

- Joe Czerwinski -- Associate Editor

December 01, 1999
San Francisco Chronicle

"Cellar Selection"

'Antigua' Dessert Wine

... Antigua is a smooth and appealing sweet wine with the kind of flavors that make it ideal with holiday puddings and desserts.

...The aromas are spicy Muscat with orange zest and butterscotch accents. The flavors are bright, with burnt-sugar undertones, hints of spice, orange and apricot, balanced with good acidity.

Enjoy this delightful fortified wine with pecan pie, hard cheeses and crème brulee.

- Gerald Boyd

2011 Jerry Mead New World International Wine Competition

'Antigua' Dessert Wine