Varietal Content: 83% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.5% Petit Verdot, 2.5% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc; Cooperage: 100% French Oak Château-style Barrels (60 Gallons); Age of Barrels: 25% new, 75% second vintage
The cooler 2011 vintage yielded an aromatic Merlot with vibrant red fruit layers of Rainier cherry and spiced plum, as well as notes of licorice, tobacco leaf, cardamom and thyme. Hints of cedar, leather and savory spice from aging in French oak barrels contribute depth and nuance, while a streak of uplifting acidity adds dimension to this wine’s smooth velvety texture. Dusty tannins frame a sophisticated finish.
In one of the coolest growing seasons in memory, we benefited greatly in 2011 from our 35 years of experience farming Bordeaux varietals. To counteract uneven vine growth due to unusual spring weather, we did meticulous green thinning. We also gently opened up the canopy to expose the fruit, were judicious in our picking schedule, and sorted meticulously both in the vineyards and winery. The majority of our Merlot came in before the October rains, and due to our quality adjustments the remainder of our fruit fared well until it was harvested. Warm up-valley locations like Oakville, Rutherford, St, Helena and Calistoga were particularly successful, and overall the resulting wines are pure and elegant.