Fruit for the 2006 Violet-Crowned Merlot is sourced mainly from the Clos LaChanceEstate Vineyard in San Martin. The 150-acre Estate Vineyard was planted in 1999.Nearly 20 varietals were planted, along with 60 separate clonesa "providing the winemakerwitha spice-rack of blending wines. Hot sunny days throughout the growingseason, coupled with cool ocean breezes in the evenings, allow for increased grapehang-time, and the further development of flavors and complexities. Computerizedvineyard maintenance and data recording systems (weather stations, leaf and soilsensors, automated irrigation and fertigation) were also installed.
Aromas of red plums and cranberries. Vanilla and cinnamon with undertones of driedcherry and a slight herbal note. Soft, velvety entry with subtle cherry fruit and plummyflavors. If I could use one word to describe this wine, it would be “smooth.” Themid-palate is soft, yet has a presence. A touch of dusty vanilla and spice. The finish issupple, but has some length to it. Try with a grilled pork tenderloin or spaghetti marinara.
The grapes were hand-harvested, hand-sorted and de-stemmed to closed top tanks tocold-soak for 24 hours. The must was inoculated and pumped over twice daily at thebeginning and end of fermentation. Pumpovers were implemented four times per day atpeak fermentation, therefore increasing color and intensity of flavors. Once complete,the wine was pressed off the skins and barrel aged for 15 months in 10% new Frenchoak and 10% new American oak.