Best of Class | SF Chronicle Wine Competition | January 2015
This is a classic Merlot with rich, deep color and expressive flavors. Medium-to-full bodied, the wine shows off multi-layered aromas and flavors of plum, dried currant, peppercorn, and savory spices before a long, silky finish.
2015 brought an early and light harvest that began on August 10, the earliest date in St. Francis’ history. The year started out very warm and dry but then cool, damp weather in May hampered fruit set. Though the result was smaller, looser clusters on the vine, the warm and consistent summer that followed produced high-quality fruit with exceptional aromatics and concentrated flavors.
The grapes in our Sonoma County Merlot come from our Certified Sustainable Estate Behler and Wild Oak vineyards located in the heart of Sonoma Valley, as well as from top growers throughout the region. Merlot thrives in this picturesque valley where warm days are cooled by evening breezes and fog from the Pacific Ocean. Each carefully selected vineyard contributes distinctive and individual qualities to the finished wine.
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.