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.
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.
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 Date: May 9, 2008
Fermentation: 10 days average, up to 84º
18 months in French oak, 60% new.
Medium ruby in color.