Aromatic, warm brioche and baking spices greet the nose on this creamy and cozy Merlot. Deep flavors of plum emerge on the palate with a soft entrance before meeting hints of bittersweet cocoa on the finish.
The 2020 growing season enjoyed near-perfect growing conditions. With minimal rain this winter, the vines were awakened with ideal moderate spring-time temperatures, which eliminated any frost threat to the developing buds. At most sites, fruit set was during the optimal timeframe due to warm, consistent conditions. Veraison occurred 7-10 days earlier than previous years due to the temperate weather and minimal rain. Moderate daytime temperatures and cool nights throughout the summer months, with a few of the normal short-lived heat spikes, allowed for excellent flavor development. The year saw an early harvest, with 90% of the region’s grapes being picked before the late Fall.
Our founder Joe Martin was the first grower to plant Merlot in Sonoma Valley when he came to this area in the 1970s. 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. The Behler Vineyard, our first Estate Vineyard, is located in the heart of Sonoma Valley where warm summer days are cooled by evening breezes and fog from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in fruit with deep, complex flavors and aromas.
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 25% New French Oak, 25% New American Oak barrels. The wine is kept in barrel for 15 months before final blending.