2008 Russian River Valley Merlot
♦ BEST OF CLASS ♦ DOUBLE GOLD ♦ 8 GOLDS ♦ 91 PTS ♦
The color of the wine is a deep red almost opaque. Your nose will experience black cherries, plums, dried cherries, charcoal, toast, dried herbs, minerals, all setting into a varietal correct smell. The palate has a broad entry followed by a full-middle based feeling on the tongue. This wine is balanced and has good structure. Lots of minerals, dustiness, dried fruits, pomegranate, roasted nuttiness, jolly ranchers, and sweet fruits add to a long tasty finish.
Absolutely Merlot and absolutely outstanding.
2013 - GOLD 91 PTS - Los Angeles International Wine Competition
2012 - BEST OF CLASS - Pacific Rim International Competition
2012 - DOUBLE GOLD - Indy International Wine Competition
2012 - GOLD - Orange County Commercial Wine Competition
2012 - GOLD - Pacific Rim International Competition
2012 - GOLD - San Diego International Wine Competition
2012 - GOLD - Dallas International Wine Competition
2011 - GOLD - Long Beach Grand Cru Competition
2011 - GOLD - Riverside International Wine Competition
2011 - GOLD - Lodi Wine Competition
PDF Spec Sheet
Russian River Valley
March 30, 2009
Merlot does well in the warmer reaches of the cool Russian River Valley climate, especially in soils with a bit more clay and loam.
2008 was a cool growing season in Northern California, creating one of the longest growing seasons in recent history, which in turn allowed the fruit to ripen on the vines for a long period; this is known as ‘hangtime’ in the grape growing world.
The fruit ripened perfectly towards the middle of October, with a terrific level of balance between fruit, tannin and acidity.
The fruit is meticulously managed in the vineyard, with only the finest clusters making the cut. At the winery only the gentlest handling is utilized.
The combination of a long cold soak followed by a cool temperature, and submerged cap fermentation complemented this fruit and has resulted in a nice level of extraction which has allowed the fruit to shine and given us a wine that will age well for the next 5 to 7 years.
The wine was aged for 16 months in French Oak barrels, of which about 25% were new with a medium toast.
This wine’s character is understated with a tremendous amount of depth and complexity coming through with just a short time in the glass.
Approximately one year after bottling, the wine is still showing lots of signs of youth. Upon opening, the aromas are quite subdued but after several minutes of swirling, the fruit starts delivering with black cherry, raspberry and cassis fighting for position in the glass. There are background notes of baking spices, oven- baked bread, a touch of vanilla and a fine core of minerality.
The palate is seamless with a bright, yet coating entry following through the back of the palate with bursts of fruit. The finish is gentle but persistent with notes of dark fruits, espresso and chocolate.
There is terrific balance to this wine, and with this level of acidity it should improve and reward delightfully over the next two or three years, after which it should hold its own and develop some beautiful bottle character.