Nose

The 2009 Merlot offers olallieberry and freshly-baked gingerbread on the nose.

Palate

Plush tannins overlay a well-formed structure, while flavors of roasted herbs and concentrated mountain-grown blackberries blend togetherseamlessly. The weighty palate hints that this wine will continue to evolve beautifully with proper cellaring. The finish features lingering notes of whetting stone and blue raspberries.

Growing Conditions

The 2009 growing season was steady and mild. Late, light spring rains provided natural irrigation while a warm spell in June helped shut down excessive canopy growth. Temperatures stayed in the 80 to 90 degree range – the "sweet spot" for slow, even ripening – through harvest. Vineyards: Pahlmeyer Waters Ranch & Rancho Chimiles

Bottling

It was bottled unfined and unfiltered on April 19, 2011.

Winemaking

The grape clusters were hand-sorted, and once de-stemmed, the berries were sorted again by hand on the way to tank. After four to five days of pre-fermentation cold maceration in small open-top fermentors, the fruit began 100% native yeast fermentation. Two to three weeks later, the fruit was gently pressed and moved to barrel where it finished primary and secondary fermentations.

Aging

The wine continued to age in 80% new French oak – a combination of Taransaud and St. Martin barrels – for eighteen months.

Appearance

Deep purple in color.