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Merlot, Behler Vineyard, Sonoma Valley (2013)
    Tasting Notes
    Wine Details
    Food Pairing
Merlot, Behler Vineyard, Sonoma Valley (2013)

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.

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Vintage: 2013
Varietal Composition:
99% Merlot
1% Cabernet Sauvignon
Barrel Aging:
20 Months
100% French Oak
Bottling Date: August 2015
Alcohol %: 14.9
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.

94 Points
Robert Parker

90 Points
Wine Enthusiast

Gold Medal
San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Gold Medal
Sonoma County Harvest Fair

Gold Medal
Sunset International Wine Competition


• 1 cup cauliflower florets
• ½ red onion, julienned
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon freshly chopped sage
• ¼ cup parsley, chopped
• 1 tablespoon capers
• 1 head of red Belgian endive, thinly sliced
• A pinch of red pepper flakes
• 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
• 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 shallot, finely diced
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• Salt and ground pepper to taste
• 16 ounce swordfish, divided into 4 pieces
• Extra virgin olive oil to brush
• Kosher salt and fresh black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place the cauliflower and onion into a mixing bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil, mix well and season with salt. Place mixture into a large shallow baking dish or roasting pan, do not overcrowd. Cook until tender and caramelized around the edges, add chopped sage and cook for one more minute. About 15 minutes total. Reserve.

In a salad bowl, combine parsley, Belgian endive, capers and red pepper flakes. Reserve.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine vinegar, shallots, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking until emulsified.

Brush swordfish with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat grill pan to medium-high on a stove top and cook to medium doneness (about 2-3 minutes each side for a 1-inch thick piece of fish).

Toss the bowl with the endive, parsley and capers with enough of the vinaigrette to coat lightly. Divide among four plates, top with the grilled swordfish and top with a little more of the vinaigrette.

Serves 4
Recipe created by St. Francis Executive Chef Bryan Jones

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