Wild Oak Vineyard
This is a full-bodied and full-flavored wine with deep, concentrated color and a plush texture. Savory and spicy aromas of sarsaparilla and whole peppercorn mingle with bright and focused flavors of boysenberry, black cherry and Asian plum sauce. Nicely integrated tannins provide good structure and a long, lingering and luxurious finish.
Harvest in 2016 started in the middle of August during a pattern of warm sunny days cooled by foggy mornings and breezy afternoons for most of the area. The early months of the year were very mild with little rain allowing the vines to progress steadily and uneventfully. Yields throughout the region were slightly below average but moderate weather starting in early summer gave the fruit plenty of time to develop great color and flavor, resulting in beautifully balanced wines.
Our founder Joe Martin was the first grower to plant Merlot in Sonoma Valley when he came to this area in the 1970s. He noted that 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 – warm days tempered by cool evenings. The Wild Oak Vineyard sits at the base of Hood Mountain and shares its site with the Winery and Visitors Center. The rocky soil and warm inland conditions are ideal for Bordeaux varietals and, in addition to Merlot, the Certified Sustainable vineyard produces Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc for this blend.
The grapes are hand-sorted and undergo a two-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 malolactic fermentation and 20 months of aging in 45% new oak.