Our 2010 Merlot displays ripe black cherry and plum compote aromas complemented by enticing tea-leaf, toasted vanilla and woodsy scents. Plush, rich and juicy on the palate, its densely concentrated black cherry, dark plum and pomegranate flavors are supported by fine-grained tannins and a long, sumptuous finish graced by savory spice and mocha tones. An irresistibly lush Merlot of great depth, length and suppleness, it drinks deliciously now, yet will develop further complexity with another 2-3 years of bottle age.
A pronounced spice-blackberry fragrance with a hint of vanilla leads into this wine's full-bodied, velvety palate with flavors of cassis and ripe berries, and notes of licorice and chocolate set in a supple yet firm structure.
The grapes are hand harvested, destemmed and crushed, and each vineyard lot is maintained separately. Before initiating fermentation, the must and skins are soaked at cool temperatures. Cold-soaking intensifies both the color and flavors of the finished wine. Fermentation is then set off with selected yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and lasts for a period of six to seven days. During the initial stages of fermentation, the must is aerated by draining the wine from the fermenters and then returning it, a process called "rack and return." This stimulates the production of phenolic compounds which smooth and soften the tannins. These two techniques yield a wine of deep, full color and excellent fresh, fruity varietal flavors without harsh tannins.
Following completion of the alcoholic fermentation, the wine is pressed from the skins and returned to stainless steel tanks for full malolactic fermentation. It is then racked into French oak barrels, roughly half of which are new and the balance of one and two years' use, for approximately eighteen months depending on the vintage.