Nose

The wine offers an inviting nose with lots of spice, sweet toasty oak, black cherry, and ripe plum, made more intriguing by the exotic floral notes of Cabernet Franc. The aromas bounce around with each other, indicating to me complexity since no single component dominates.

Palate

The round flavors reflect the nose, with an initial sense of sweetness curiously followed by an impression of dryness. The wine remains bright and lively with a refreshing finish. The color, weight, concentration, and flavor profile of this Merlot easily surpass those of many of its Cabernet Sauvignon counterparts.

Growing Conditions

2006 was a long, cool, growing season that started relatively late for us and extended well into October. The wines in general display good acidity and firmer tannins than 2005, but given Merlot’s intrinsically softer tannins, the wine still remains broad and mouth-filling. Vineyard: Stewart Vineyard, Rancho Chimiles.

Bottling

Bottling Date: May 9, 2008

Winemaking

Fermentation: 10 days average, up to 84º

Aging

18 months in French oak, 60% new.

Appearance

Medium ruby in color.