Gold Medal Winner
Winery: Smith Devereux
Maker: Ian Devereux (Founder), Brett Adams (Winemaker)
Region: St. Helena AVA, Napa Valley, CA
Vineyard: Ibex Vineyard
Notes: Blackberry, dark chocolate, pepper, and spice
Price per can: $14
Cans Produced: 12,960
Aged: 50% 30 months in French oak barrels
Residual Sugar (g/L): 0.4
Musician turned journalist turned winery owner – Ian Devereux is the contrarian vintner behind Maker’s first Merlot. As a wine writer for publications like 7×7, Wine Enthusiast, and Edible Marin he helped tell the stories of wineries all over the world. Eventually he decided he was ready to write his own story, teaming up with music industry vet Steve Smith and winemaker Brett Adams to build Smith Devereux – a winery that’s all about making wine approachable and a love of music and experiences.
Smith Devereux believes music and wine are the perfect pairing — their tasting room has a recording studio, and the brand partners with artists and musicians on their philanthropy wine series. The groovy guitar strings on the can are a nod to the influence of music on Ian’s life and life work.
Merlot is the second most popular red grape in the U.S. behind Cab Sauv, known for being soft, elegant, and easy drinking. It’s often used in blends (hello, Bordeaux!), and rarely gets the chance to shine on its own in Napa Valley. Smith Devereux isn’t hiding this grape – they’re putting it front and center. This single-vineyard, 100% Merlot from coveted Ibex Vineyard in St. Helena has some serious street cred — in three vintages this wine has won 16 Gold Medals!
- 100% Recyclable
- Doesn’t affect the taste
- No light exposure or oxidation
- No “corked” wines
The groovy guitar strings on the can are a nod to the influence of music on Ian’s life. He partners with artists and fellow musicians to donate to worthy causes with Smith Devereux’s philanthropy wine series.
Ian recommends a hearty halibut, hanger steak, or pasta with tomato sauce.
This fruit comes from the Ibex Vineyard in St Helena on the West side of Highway 29. Fruit is handpicked and de-stemmed whole berry into stainless tanks. It ferments on the skins for 24 days, pumped over twice a day, before pressed into French oak barrels where it finishes malolactic fermentation.
2018 Maker Merlot by Smith Devereux
“People are always surprised when they drink it. They’re not expecting Merlot to be this playful and complex. It has the structure and power that one would expect of a Cabernet, but it leads you into this gentle, softer side with floral notes and silkiness. It’s such a cool ride.”
IAN DEVEREUX, SMITH DEVEREUX WINES
Ian Devereux White, the Rock 'n' Roll Vintner behind Maker's first Merlot