94 Points | Harvest Challenge
92 Points | Jeb Dunnuck
Our regal Meritage blend displays classic aromas of Marionberry, espresso, and white truffle. Flavors of blackberry, sasparilla, espresso and cocoa nib are layered atop a stout, textured mouthfeel. Intrigue abounds in the lavish finish as expressive notes of clove and blueberry emerge behind hearty tannins.
2018 provided an ideal climate allowing time for the grapes to ripen to their optimum flavor structure. The year presented a fairly mild growing season with few heat spikes, inspiring winemakers to push harvest back a few weeks. This longer time on the vine was great for grapes and the mild temperatures kept the fruit from over-ripening. More than an inch of rain fell in early October in many locations, but there was little impact on the quality of the fruit. 2018 could be remembered as one of the longest and most desirable seasons in years, producing exceptional quality grapes throughout Sonoma County.
For this Meritage blend, Winemaker Chris Louton sources fruit from both our Certified Sustainable Estate Vineyards as well as our grower partners. The Merlot comes from Sonoma Mountain, Dry Creek Valley and Sonoma Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon comes from our Lagomarsino Vineyard in Russian River Valley as well as the Moon Mountain District (Montecillo Vineyard). Malbec is sourced from our Wild Oak Vineyard at the winery in Sonoma Valley.
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, 38% new. The wine is kept 20 months in barrel before final blending.