2016 Merlot

2016 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.
SKU: 15-M-1 Category:


Production: 98 cases

In the Vineyard

The weather during the previous winter was kind to us leaving very little winter damage to prune away.  A cool season prompted the decision to drop 20% of the crop prior to veraison.  However, a warm spell near the end of October caused a burst of ripening, scrambling our plans for an orderly harvest with a mad rush to get the grapes picked before the sugar concentrations became too high.  Both estate grown, own-rooted blocks were harvested between October 22 and October 29. Despite the cool season, the grapes were fully ripe with excellent numbers:

Brix: 25.0
pH: 3.2
Titratable Acidity: 9.0 g/l
Flavor very intense, skins dark purple/pink, seeds mostly brown, juice temp 50 F.

In the Cellar

All our Merlot is whole berry fermented to preserve the bright fruit flavors.  Each vat of harvested grapes underwent a 3 day cold soak to extract additional color and flavor from the skins, followed by inoculation with one of two distinct yeast strains. One to extract more color and one to enhance the black cherry notes.  Malo-lactic fermentation was inoculated as well.  Fermentation, completed in just over two weeks with punch downs every 4 hours, was followed by another 3 day cold soak to allow the newly created alcohol to extract more flavor and color.
After pressing, the new wine was transferred into a combination of nearly new and neutral oak barrels.  Quietly settled in the cellar, the wine aged, undisturbed except for the occasional topping and racking, for 33 months.  In late October and early November of 2019 we bottled 98 cases.