93 Points | Wine Enthusiast
91 Points | Jeb Dunnuck
Gold Medal | San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Sleek and velvety, this cabernet-driven, Bordeaux-style blend offers alluring aromas of currant, espresso, rosehip, and spice on the nose. The 2019 Meritage opens with flavors of ripe blackberry, succulent plum, and creme de cassis. Notes of cacao, mint, and clove emerge upon a silky and rich mouthfeel. Enjoy as the soft and refined mid-body transitions into a luxurious and smooth finish of juicy black fruits.
The 2019 harvest began before dawn on August 30. After a growing season that started in winter with record rainfall, the year ended with warm, even temperatures throughout summer. With few spikes in heat over the period, the vineyards had optimal conditions to develop full-flavored fruit with distinctive color and balanced acidity. Spring rains ended in time for a bountiful fruit set. The temperate summer allowed for long hang times and consistent, even ripening. We picked the majority of our fruit in September, and the weather continued to cooperate. October brought warm, breezy days, but fortunately, no rainfall, allowing the last of the grapes to be harvested by the end of the month.
For the 2019 Meritage blend, Winemaker Chris Louton sourced fruit from our Certified Sustainable Estate Vineyards. The Merlot comes from our Behler Vineyard located in Sonoma Valley, while the Cabernet Sauvignon comes from our Lagomarsino Vineyard in the Russian River Valley.
The name Meritage combines “merit,” reflecting the quality of the grapes, with “heritage,” recognizing the centuries-old tradition of blending. Grapes are gently de-stemmed before cold-soaking for two days to extract optimal color and flavor. The fruit is fermented separately, allowing each lot to be individually and distinctly crafted before being aged in French oak barrels, 47% new. The wine is kept for 20 months in barrel before final blending.