2018 Alexander Valley Estate Merlot
Gold, 90pts., Sunset International Wine Competition
We handpicked our Merlot early in the morning while temperatures were chilly. The whole clusters were delivered to the winery in small bins. The fruit was gently destemmed from the rachis (stems) then moved to stainless steel tanks and open top tanks for fermentation. After three days of cold soaking, fermentation was initiated with a hand-selected yeast that complemented our fruit. Primary fermentation completed, the new wine was pumped to a fresh tank. Once settled in tank, the new wine was racked off its sediment to barrels and secondary fermentation began. Malolactic fermentation was completed in barrel which helped soften the wine. Aged sur lie, in 100% French oak, for 24 months, the resulting wine was racked from barrels to tanks for the final blend assemblage then held until bottled.