Merlot, Sonoma Valley (2013)
This polished Merlot shows off layered aromas and flavors of espresso, red cherry and chocolate that finish with a touch of savory spices. Medium-to-full bodied with good structure and a long, lingering finish.
Our founder Joe Martin was the first grower to plant Merlot in Sonoma Valley. Merlot thrives in this picturesque valley where warm days are cooled by evening breezes and fog from the Pacific Ocean. The grapes in our Sonoma Valley Merlot come from our Certified Sustainable Estate Behler and Wild Oak vineyards, as well as from top growers throughout the area. Each carefully selected vineyard contributes distinctive and individual qualities to the finished wine.
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 gently de-stemmed and crushed before cold soaking for three days to extract optimal color and flavor. The fruit is inoculated with several different yeast strains to build complexity and fermented in separate lots. Secondary malolactic fermentation occurs in 100% French oak barrels. 18% new.