Turning Leaf Merlot Review (2023)

Turning Leaf Merlot Featured

What Kind of Wine Is Turning Leaf Merlot?

Turning Leaf Merlot is a dry red wine from California, the largest winemaking region of the United States. It blends fruitiness and body uniquely and excitingly. Furthermore, Turning Leaf received a gold medal in the 2010 San Francisco International Wine Competition, creating high expectations. The Mediterranean climate of the region showers the vines with a warmth necessary for the production of luscious and wines.

Successful Merlot examples from California showcase a multitude of dark and red fruit aromas, as well as intense flavors of chocolate, coffee, and spices. And contrary to wines produced in other parts of the world, Californian wines prefer to conserve their refreshing fruitiness. They remain fruity and delicate, ignoring needless complexity.

Turning Leaf Merlot Review

  • Winery — Turning Leaf Winery
  • Country/Region — United States, California
  • Type — Merlot From California
  • Aroma — Violet, Black Cherry, Black Plum, Mocha, Toasty Oak, Vanilla Spice
  • Grapes — Merlot
  • Taste — Red Cherry, Strawberry, Black Currant, Pomegranate, Green Bell Pepper, Chocolate, Smoke, Licorice, Cinnamon Spice
  • Alcohol Content — 12%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Grilled Rib-Eye Steak, Roasted Pork with Parsley Sauce, Napolitano

Turning Leaf Merlot is a compelling, fruity Merlot from sunny California. Presenting exquisite aromas of violet, black cherry, and black plum, along with a few underlying notes of toasty oak and vanilla spice, Turning Leaf is aromatic and comforting. On the mouth, the energy of red cherries, strawberries, and chocolate are untamable, while subtle notes from pomegranate surface too. Turning Leaf is charming and will not disappoint wine enthusiasts looking for the next wine to match with juicy steaks or surprising office parties.

Overall Rating: 4.0

  • Fruit-forward
  • Yummy
  • Easy-To-Drink
  • Well-Balanced Body and Structure
  • Alcohol Presence
  • Maybe Too Sweet

Tasting Notes

Turning Leaf Merlot is a vibrant red wine with luscious aromas of dark fruits, such as cherry, plum, ground mocha, and baking spices. In the mouth, smooth tannins dominate, together with cherries and tangy strawberries. And they lead to a finish that is long and fruitier. Turning Leaf, therefore, has an ample profile, fully encompassing its warm Californian inheritance. It is delicious and absolutely amazing. One thing is for sure, Turning Leaf will steal the hearts of many with its endless passion and sensuality.


Go ahead and pour that deep ruby liquid into a crystal glass to enjoy it in all its glory. Turning Leaf Merlot’s color is a dazzler, like a Burma jewel, with bright strawberry hints. It is an appearance that does not fail to impress and surprise. Consequently, wine enthusiasts are bound to be welcomed if they bring Turning Leaf over to friendly gatherings. After all, who would not be delighted seeing such a majestic wine color?


Turning Leaf’s nose is fruity and warm, as you would expect from a Californian Merlot. Wonderful flowery aromas of violet emerge as soon as the glass reaches the nose. These are followed by fragrances of juicy cherries, black plum, and subtle hints of mocha and vanilla spice. The aromatic profile also showcases touches of smoke, adding weight to the refreshing and straightforward primary aromas. It is not the most complicated nose that you would ever meet in Californian reds, but it gets the job done thoroughly and efficiently.


Just as that delightful glass mouthful of Turning Leaf enters the mouth, bright red cherries and strawberries freshly picked on fine summer mornings pop madly. Flavors of juicy pomegranate coated in chocolate and sensations of smoke and cinnamon spice unearth, as hints of green bell pepper complete this savory palate. The soft tannins add structure and elegance to the rest of the wine too. Turning Leaf, therefore, proves fruity and powerful, but above all, it is simply delicious.


Turning Leaf Merlot has a medium-to-long finish while maintaining its varietal components and fruitiness right to the end. Vibrant red cherries, strawberries, blackcurrants, and licorice remain on the tongue, while a tiny astringent tannin sensation complete the wine’s finish. Seconds later, a splash of refreshing acidity surfaces, washes, and cleans the mouth. Now you are ready to drink more of Turning Leaf. Sip?


Turning Leaf Merlot is fruit-forward, approachable, and intriguing and it celebrates American winemaking. Turning Leaf is fascinating, and is so much more than the usual California Table Wine. With its notable nose full of fresh black fruits and touches of mocha, toast, and vanilla spice, Turning Leaf makes a bold statement. Similarly, flavors of pomegranate, the ‘fruit of death and fertility,’ as it is known in Greek mythology give deep and incomparable dimensions. Turning Leaf is heartwarming and charming, crafty and mischievous. And it is well worth your time to savor a glass.

Turning Leaf Merlot Food Pairing

Turning Leaf Merlot is best suited to grilled juicy meaty steaks. A grilled rib-eye steak, for instance, pairs well with the wine, as well as deliciously roast pork with parsley sauce. The berry and cherry storm, for example, create the perfect combo with the fatty nature of pork and the elegance of parsley. Furthermore, an additional option is to pair Turning Leaf with a hearty Napolitano or a pizza seasoned with fresh basil and dried oregano ingredients. This is where the wine truly reveals its fruity, yet complicated character. Aromas of violet, mocha, and chocolate blend naturally with the pasta’s durum wheat and tomato sauce, creating a remarkable combination.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Makes Turning Leaf Merlot?

Turning Leaf Merlot is made by Turning Leaf Winery in Modesto, California. It is branded as an “Award-Winning, Affordable California Wine.” They choose quality grapes from some of California’s best winegrowing regions and produce wines that are soft and inviting. Furthermore, Turning Leaf belongs to E. &J. Gallo Winery, one of the largest California wine providers.

How Is Turning Leaf Merlot Made?

As Turning Leaf Merlot is a conventional red dry wine, the usual winemaking process takes place. The grapes are harvested at optimal ripeness when the color, flavors, acids, and tannins are balanced. Then they are crushed, destemmed, and fed into stainless steel vessels until the alcoholic fermentation begins. This process is responsible for giving the final wine its texture and shape its character. During fermentation, the temperature increases until the fermented grape juice is ready for racking before going through a complete malolactic conversion. The latter adds structure and body to the wine, ensuring stability. Finally, Turning Leaf is filtered and bottled.

Where Is Turning Leaf Merlot Made?

Turning Leaf is produced right in the center of the American wine industry: California. And it is made from the Merlot grape variety, known for giving refreshing and fruit-forward wines. California’s Mediterranean climate, with its combinations of warmth and cooling influences from the Atlantic, delivers a diverse range of inexpensive and premium wine styles, pleasing wine enthusiasts worldwide.

How to Serve Turning Leaf Merlot?

Since it is a wine intended for savoring during casual occasions or office parties, Turning Leaf Merlot is ideally served in balloon-shaped wine glasses. The large size enables the wine to breathe and fully displays the wonderful bouquet of fresh red fruits and chocolate sensations. In case these glasses are not available, the standard larger-side red wine glasses would suffice, as they will still allow the air to come into contact with the wine surface. Furthermore, Turning Leaf serving temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 18 degrees Celsius). However, the wine would also benefit from a light chilling. The vibrant berry notes will turn crispy, while the acidity will become more distinctive and invigorating.

How Much Does Turning Leaf Merlot Cost?

The wine is totally affordable. Everyone can enjoy this beverage with no significant cost considerations, as Turning Leaf Merlot price ranges from $5 to $14 per 1.5 L bottle, depending on merchant and vintage. With this low price, it would be unwise if wine lovers did not hurry to the stores to fill their pantries with Turning Leaf!

How Long Does Turning Leaf Merlot Last?

Through controlled maturation, Turning Leaf Merlot has some potential to evolve in body. But I would not recommend it. Turning Leaf is an elaborate and fruit-forward wine and attempting to age it, may cause a significant decrease in its light and young character. Maturation might shrink the wine’s vibrancy, leaving behind overpowered and overripe mayhem. However, if successfully aged, Turning Leaf will develop extensive tertiary aromas and flavors, such as fig, prune and wet forest floor.

The wine should be sealed with a cork and stored in a safe environment with a portion of humidity and temperatures that do not fluctuate (60 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 to 15 degrees Celsius). Direct sunlight or artificial light must be avoided at all costs, as the wine may suffer irreparable damage and become faulty.

Furthermore, the storage environment should be odor-free when storing the wine bottle since the cork allows a small amount of oxygen to come inside to maintain the liquid fresh. And that may affect the structure of the wine and affect its bright red fruit aromas and strawberry flavors. As a final note, Turning Leaf should not be stored for over two years, as previously stated. Otherwise, the wine will completely lose its freshness and give way to extremely unwelcomed tertiary flavors.

How Many Calories Does Turning Leaf Merlot Have?

Turning Leaf Merlot is a suitable dietary option. There are about 25 calories in 1 fluid ounce of the beverage, equating to a total of 122 calories per serving. The calories breakdown is: 0g fats, 0g sodium, 1g total carbohydrate, 0g protein, and 0g total sugars. Therefore, Turning Leaf Merlot calories will not pose a threat to wine enthusiasts that also care about their calorie intake, constituting the wine a solid dietary choice. Further, Turning Leaf Merlot alcohol content is 12%, a low alcoholic concentration for a Californian red, but quite normal for a light-to-medium-body wine.


Turning Leaf Merlot is a compelling, fruity Merlot from sunny California. Presenting exquisite aromas of violet, black cherry, and black plum, along with a few underlying notes of toasty oak and vanilla spice, Turning Leaf is aromatic and comforting. On the mouth, the energy of red cherries, strawberries, and chocolate are untamable, while subtle notes from pomegranate surface too. Turning Leaf is charming and will not disappoint wine enthusiasts looking for the next wine to match with juicy steaks or surprising office parties.

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