Merlot, Behler Vineyard, Sonoma Valley (2013)
This lively and full-bodied Merlot showcases rich, dark-red fruit flavors and aromas of cherry compote, cranberry and plum. Nicely structured, the finish is long and lingering.
Our founder Joe Martin was the first grower to plant Merlot in Sonoma Valley when he came to this area in the 1970s. This picturesque valley is surrounded by the Sonoma Mountains to the west and the Mayacamas Mountains to the east, providing perfect conditions for Merlot grapes. The Behler Vineyard, our first Estate Vineyard, is located in the heart of Sonoma Valley where warm summer days are cooled by evening breezes and fog from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in fruit with deep, complex flavors and aromas.
High quality, outstanding fruit characteristics and generous yields describe the 2013 harvest. Harvest started slightly earlier than previous years after an ideal growing season that provided optimum temperatures for grapes to ripen. We had a wealth of sunshine and consistently warm days and cool nights, allowing the fruit ample time to develop full, rich flavors with great color and balance.
The grapes are hand-sorted and undergo a four-day cold soak to extract optimal color and flavor. After primary fermentation in stainless steel tanks, the wine is placed into French oak barrels where it undergoes natural malolactic fermentation and 20 months of aging in 30% new oak.
San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Sonoma County Harvest Fair