A warm, dry spring melded into a picture-perfect summer, with warm temperatures, cool breezes and very few hot or cold days. However, their harvest was thrown into overdrive during the last week of August, when temperatures spiked into the triple digits! A normal, ten to twelve week long harvest was compressed into four to six weeks, as all of the grapes began to ripen very quickly. Harvested from September 14 to October 7, the grapes were much riper than other vintages, setting the stage for a full-bodied and rich wine.
In the glass, this Merlot is very darkly colored garnet and violet. This concentration is carried through to the palate, where the warm vintage makes its mark with a wonderful perfume of blueberry, cranberry, black cherry and black plum. There are hints of cocoa, green tea and violets, balanced by a smoky spice from the oak aging. The tannins are big and plush, indicating that this wine will age well into a soft, silky sipper in several years time. Pair with a myriad of foods, from pork chops to salmon.
"Light-medium volume aromas of red cherries, oak and hard can-dies with mint and dried herb hints in the background lead into a balanced, slightly firm wine on the palate. It is tasty enough at entry but gives way to a chalky, stemmy texture by mid-palate and misses out in Merlot succulence." -Rated 86, Connoisseur's Guide to California Wines