The 2014 La Jota Merlot is a powerhouse Merlot with a structure to relish. Notes of dark chocolate, dark and red berry characters, give way to clove, toast, minerality and weight on the palate.
We hand-harvested grapes into small, 30-pound boxes to prevent crushing, and then we brought them to the winery for hand-sorting. After destemming and light crushing, the must was cold-soaked for gentle color, flavor and tannin extraction. Winemaker Chris Carpenter fermented the juice with native yeast in a combination of open and closed-top stainless steel tanks. Following gentle basket press, the wine underwent in-barrel malolactic fermentation, rounding the acidity and integrating the vanilla character of French oak. The wine was barrel-aged for 19 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
19 months in French oak (76% new)