94 Points | Jeb Dunnuck | June 2019
93 Points | Tasting Panel | May 2019
92 Points | The Wine Advocate | December 2019
91 Points | Suckling Tasting | December 2019
The Reserve Merlot shows off the rich flavor and balanced acidity that comes from ideal Sonoma Valley conditions. Abundant aromas of dark red fruits and French Roast coffee merge with mocha, blackberry, and cherry preserve flavors, finishing smooth and slightly spicy.
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.
Merlot flourishes in the Sonoma Valley. This picturesque valley is surrounded by the Sonoma Mountains to the west and the Mayacamas Range to the east, providing perfect conditions for Merlot and Malbec grapes. This area’s warm summer days are cooled by evening breezes and fog from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in fruit with deep, complex flavors and aromas. For In this special wine we source the fruit from our Wild Oak Estate Vineyard as well as the Dinner Vineyard high atop Sonoma Mountain.
After hand-sorting, the grapes underwent a two-day cold soak to extract optimal color and flavor. The wine was then aged in 100% French oak barrels, 55% new, where it underwent malolactic fermentation, followed by 20 months of aging.