2019 Alexander Valley Estate Merlot
18 months in 100% French Oak (30% new)
September 28th, 2019
Our 2019 hillside Merlot is stunning with aromas and flavors of cranberries, spiced plum pie, tobacco leaf, Bing cherries, raspberries, and dark cocoa powder. The mouthfeel is rich and savory with an elegant, soft finish. Pairs beautifully with a grilled burger or vegetables, charcuterie, enchiladas, or a dark chocolate cake.
The grapes were hand-harvested in the morning when the temperature was chilly and delivered by tractor to the winery in small bins, which protected the integrity of the clusters and individual grapes. The fruit was then handled several different ways for complexity in the final blend. Some fruit was destemmed, and only individual berries were delivered to open top fermenters. Additionally, we held back some fruit and delivered the fruit 100% whole cluster to open top fermenters. This means that all clusters retained their stems during fermentation. The production of these two lots was completely different as is the resulting wine made from them. The destemmed fruit, which was only berries was inoculated with yeast that compliments Merlot’s aroma and flavor profiles. The whole cluster fermentation has no yeast added and was fermented completely wild by native yeast that were present on the grape clusters and stems in the vineyards. During Fermentation, the wines were punched down 2-3 times daily for color and tannin extraction into the fermenting juice from the fermenting red grapes skins. Once fermentation was complete the young wine and skins were loaded into the wine press and the skins were pressed to capture any remaining wine. The young wine was pumped into a tank to settle. After 2-4 days the wine was pumped cleanly off its sediment at the bottom of the tank and filled to French Oak barrels. Malolactic fermentation took place in barrels. Once completed the wine was racked (pumped off lees) out of barrels to mix the lot together again, barrels were washed of additional sediment and then the wine was pumped back to the same barrels. This happened two more times over the 18 months of barrel aging.