Quarterly Review of Wines called this Merlot a Best Buy saying "this is Merlot that delivers" and "the flavors are forthcoming and fetching." 181 refers to the clone of the Merlot grape that originates in Pomerol Bordeaux. That clone is planted in the clay Station vineyard in the Sierra Foothills where the grapes for this wine are sourced. Clay soil, like in Pomerol, retains moisture, keeps the vines vibrant and the grapes developing through the warm summer months. The Beverage Testing Institute rated it a Best Buy and so did Wine Enthusiast Magazine who said "A plush, lush, value-priced Merlot, this is herbal and rich in truffle mushroom, fierce black-cherry fruit and oak. The generous finish suggests a measured helping of spice." On Sale!