2015 Merlot

2015 Merlot


From the highest altitude Merlot vineyards in the northern hemisphere we craft a bold, rich red with dark berry, black cherry, and cassis flavors and a sinful smoothness. Bearing a striking resemblance to the Sangiovese of Tuscany, this wine pairs best with garlic and basil in bold-flavored Italian dishes, such as lasagna and bolognese. It also pairs well with wild game, especially elk.
Pairs with: Basil Pesto Pinwheels, Vegan Manicotti with Red Wine Tomato Sauce
SKU: 15-M Category:


Production: 200 cases

In the Vineyard

The 2015 Merlot hails from our home vineyard at 6,200 ft. elevation and a second vineyard we care for at 5,800 ft. elevation.  A mild winter and careful pruning left many fruitful buds to choose from.  As is typical in milder years, we faced the painful decision to cluster thin and drop one quarter of the fruit on the ground at veraison.  That choice assured ripe fruit at harvest on October 15 at the Rhodes Vineyard, and November 1 at our home vineyard.
Brix: 23-25
pH:  3.05
Titratable Acidity 8.55 g/l
Black cherry flavor, pips brown, no green pepper

In the Cellar

Following a 3 day cold soak, alternating vats of whole berry, de-stemmed grapes were inoculated with two different strains of yeast, one to enhance color, one to emphasize black cherry fruit.  Fermentation peaked at 71 F and a cool, late late fall delayed the completion of fermentation until the end of November.  Finally, with post-fermentation cold soak complete, the last of the new Merlot was pressed into primarily neutral French and American oak barrels on December 11.  As with previous years, this vintage required nearly 3 years of barrel age prior to release.  The barrels were blended together and bottled in late July and early August of 2018.