Created in tribute to the great Merlot-based wines of Bordeaux’s Right Bank, this wine utilizes estate-grown French clones of Merlot as well as intensive vineyard techniques that produce an unparalleled depth of flavor and structure from this noble varietal.
The majority of the fruit for this wine is sourced from our Carneros Collines and McKinnon vineyards, situated in the cool rolling hills of the Carneros AVA. Mild temperatures allow the grapes to hang for an extended period of time prior to harvest. This extra time on the vine combined with our dense planting practices results in richly concentrated fruit and a robustly-structured Merlot that exhibits unmatched balance and poise.
Harvest & Winemaking
With steadily mild temperatures throughout the growing season, the 2009 vintage progressed very smoothly and the clusters ripened evenly. The fruit for this wine was harvested mid-September through early October and was thoroughly sorted. Fermentation took place at a high temperature to ensure that maximum extraction was achieved before the wine was racked to 40% new American and French oak barrels. The wine was aged in barrel for a total of 17 months before bottling.
Vibrant and fruit forward, this brilliant ruby wine presents an expressive nose of ripe red cherry, freshly picked blueberry and strawberry cream, swirled with whispers of dried violets, salted caramel and fresh mint leaf. Crisp upon entry, the wine fills the palate with warm flavors of Bing cherry and strawberry syrup, following with sweet vanilla bean, spice and honeyed graham cracker notes that linger through a clean finish framed by silky tannins.
Lush and luminous in the glass, this Merlot would prove a perfect foil to a poultry-based dish. Try pairing it with herbroasted chicken and fennel purée for a delectable dining experience. If you would like to try it with a cheese course, we recommend Zamorano, a hard, nutty sheep’s milk cheese from Spain.