91 Insider Points


Klassen Strikes Gold Once Again.

Last year, I had the pleasure of tasting and releasing Brian Klassen's 2015 Sonoma County Merlot. This year, he has just released his newest project, the 2016 Merlot, appellated out of Dry Creek Valley. The decision to move to a more specific (and more prestigious) scope has proven successful, as Klassen's Merlot has gotten more refined and even better than before. 

Fresh tobacco and bramblebush on the nose, reminiscent of the Right Bank. Medium bodied with cassis, cranberry, cedar, and anise. It shows cranberry skin through the finish. Fresh on the market, this is ready to drink and can be enjoyed through 2022. 91 Points - JZ Oct '18

    93% Merlot, 7% Durif
    Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma
  • SIZE

We'll admit: Dry Creek often tends to be synonymous with big, juicy ZIN. But the reality is there's a much softer, refined side to this stunning landscape (i.e. Merlot!)

In this soft, approachable bottling from a producer who is far from a household name, the wine comes from vineyards whose well-drained, and naturally restrictive soils force the vines to focus on producing concentrated fruit. A solid homage to Bordeaux with its well-balanced with polished tannins and a lengthy finish, it's plush and approachable and perfect for just about any occasion.

Four reasons:

·    “You won't hear many complaints about the 2016 vintage from Sonoma winemakers,” writes the Wine Spectator. Not yet rated, the year boasted both picture perfect weather and perfectly ripened wine grapes.

·    Importer and winemaker Brian Klassen has an extensive background in the food industry as both chef and sommelier and has worked in restaurants in Canada, Australia, the Bahamas and the U.S.

·    Klassen included a touch of Sonoma County Petite Sirah (also known as Durif) to this Merlot—with the P.S. adding its characteristic black pepper profile and rich dark chocolate.

·    Murphy’s is in California’s Gold Country, a region better known for denim and whiskey saloons than wine. Nonetheless, Murphy’s is home to Klassen’s importing and brokering company, though Brian’s eponymous wines are sourced from Sonoma.


From the winery:

The Klassen Merlot is distinctly old-world in style. It relies on the classic flavors of cherries, cedar and earth. It is evocative of the Right Bank. The texture is full and long.


From the winery:

Klassen Wines & Craft Beer is a fully-integrated wine and beer agency operating across the United States with existing points of distribution in twenty-one states. They produce, import and broker fine wines and craft beers from around the world. Klassen's signature wines Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, and Big Mouth Red are available in fine wine stores throughout California. The selection process, on the imported wines and micro-brewed craft beer they represent, is based not only on quality and value, but also on the integrity of the product.

Select Wine and Beer from Around the World

Far removed from the mass produced wines and beers of others, Klassen Fine Wines & Craft Beer produces its own wines, and imports and brokers intriguing beverages from other producers whose wines and beers speak loudly of their sense of place. Customers benefit from high quality, select family-owned wineries and breweries from California, Australia, Canada and other wine-producing regions around the world. Pleae see our review at: The International Wine of the Month Club.

"We love discussing our passion and are committed to bringing our customers unique craft beer and fine wines. We encourage you to explore our wines, boutique beers and our culture. As you look through this website, sit back, pour yourself a glass and get to know the beverages produced and represented by Klassen Wines & Craft Beer."

~ Brian Klassen


From the winery:

It pairs well with grilled hanger steak.