93 Points | Press Democrat North Coast Challenge | July 2020
92 Points | Sunset International Wine Competition | July 2020
Gold Medal | Press Democrat North Coast Challenge | July 2020
Gold Medal | Sunset International Wine Competition | July 2020
This classic, rich Merlot reveals a deep color and broad structure. Aromas of cassis, plum, and dried currant merge with layered flavors of dark berries, espresso bean, and bittersweet chocolate. The wine has a long, vibrant finish with a note of spice.
The 2017 growing season started out wet with record-breaking rainfall refreshing our vineyards after several dry years. The mild spring led to a timely bud break and good fruit set, followed by ideal conditions of cool mornings and warm, sunny days throughout the summer months. Our first grapes of the season were “blessed” on August 25, officially beginning the St. Francis harvest. A few days of intense heat at the beginning of September sped up ripening throughout the region. Well-timed picks throughout the month meant the majority of the fruit was in by the first week of October. Beautiful color, well-defined aromatics, and outstanding flavor are all evident in this year’s vintage.
The grapes in our Sonoma County Merlot come from our Certified Sustainable Estate Wild Oak vineyard, located in the heart of Sonoma Valley, as well as from top growers throughout the region. Merlot thrives in Sonoma’s picturesque valleys 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.