These days, if we're being honest? We don't often go out *searching* for Californian Merlot. But when it finds us? It slaps us twice upside the head, as if to say, "Don't you dare forget how pretty I can be!" Upstart winemaker Keegan Mayo may have made the most vibrant and exciting Merlot of our annus pandemicus -- as lively and vibrant as a great Beaujolais Nouveau (there's some carbonic maceration here, so this makes sense), but with all the varietal characteristics of a Right Bank Bordeaux, o'erbrimming with vibrant and peppery red and black fruits. This is Santa Cruz winemaking at its freshest and best.