90 Points | Wine Enthusiest | June 2017
Gold Medal | SF Chronicle Wine Competition | January 2017
This is an expressive and flavorful Merlot with multi-layered aromas and flavors of red cherry, plum, dried cranberry, espresso bean, and savory spices. Medium-to-full bodied with a long, lingering finish.
Warm sunny days throughout the spring and summer months set the stage for a spectacular harvest in September 2014. The lack of rain meant that harvest began a little earlier than normal and was short in length, finishing up by the end of October. The temperate days leading up to harvest produced good yields of high-quality fruit with concentrated flavors, complex aromatics, and excellent structure.
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.
All grapes are gently de-stemmed before cold-soaking for two days to extract optimal color and flavor. The fruit is fermented in separate lots, allowing each lot to be individually and distinctly crafted before being aged in French oak barrels, 25% new. The wines are kept 16 months in barrel before final blending and bottling.