Merlot, as a variety, has taken some severe hits in recent years. Not only has it been ridiculed by Hollywood, it has been the victim of being poorly represented from a quality perspective by releases of some very poor wines. Merlot, made traditionally from great vineyards can be an absolute pleasure to experience. It is a variety that offers both finesse and presence. Some of the world’s most famous wines are entirely, or at least predominantly, Merlot.
We have substantial plantings on our estate vineyard in Paso Robles and they have been consistently delivering exceptional fruit. Fortunately for us, the largest producing block also provides the highest quality….a winemaker’s dream. The fruit ripens consistently and, as was the case with the Cabernet Sauvignon from 2010, managed to attain fruit ripeness with very manageable sugar ripeness.
The resulting wine opens with ripe berry fruit with a hint of tobacco leaf and ‘cigar-box’ notes. The palate is rich and the finish is quite firm but balancing. There are underlying characters of dark cherry with some green coffee bean, emulating the great Bordeaux wines of the Right Bank. This wine will look more intense than most Californian Merlots with the structure of a more ‘international’ style. A fabulous food wine, it will go a long way to restore consumers’ faith in the variety.