Flavors of dark chocolate and boysenberry, with great acidity and structure lift this wine on your palate. The long, steady finish exhibits why mountain Merlot stands alone.
High-elevation winegrowing requires a painstaking, labor intensive approach. Thin, rocky soils and steep slopes make water retention a challenge and erosion a threat, but the vines benefit from the struggle and produce concentrated flavors. This regularly extends the growing season into November, and the increased hang-time results in peak ripeness and full varietal complexity.
A warm April and May pushed the growing season along, resulting in a fairly reasonable crop load, followed by a June and July that saw several heat spikes but nothing that lasted for more than three days. The beginning of October helped with later ripening areas as we experienced a bit of Indian summer. Overall, good conditions for ripening fruit without the worries of sun burn, shrivel or early fall cold.
We hand-harvested grapes during cool morning hours, at an average Brix of 26.5°.
After barrel aging for 19 months, the wine was bottled without fining or filtration.
The wine was fermented in stainless steel and then underwent native malolactic fermentation in barrels to round acidity and softly integrate the vanillin character of French oak (93% new).
19 months in French oak (93% new)