Palate

Tannins are ample for extended bottle aging but soft and supple enough to enjoy this Merlot in its vibrant youth.

Harvest

Harvest of 1997 was a scramble for very ripe grapes. The season began with early budbreak, followed by a warm ripening season. On Spring Mountain, where the harvests usually begin in October, Merlot grapes began to ripen in mid-September. This early harvest also accelerated as the average temperatures during the pick were quite warm.

Bottling

Bottled: April 1999

Winemaking

The fruit was crushed as quickly as it could be handled and immediately displayed very dark color and ripe aromatics. The level of extraction in the 1997 reds is quite remarkable, providing a rich body and an intense fruit character of cassis and blackberry. Cabernet Sauvignon was blended (10%) for added complexity and textural contribution. Fermentation: Stainless Steel.

Aging

The use of new French oak during the barrel aging of these beauties was increased to match the ripe dynamics of these wines. The resulting oak character is reminiscent of sweet clove and cedar.