75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon
100% French Oak, Chateau-Style Barrels (60 gallons)
Barrel Aging: 18 Months
Age of Barrels: 95% New, 5% second vintage
Once again, Rector Creek yielded a lush and alluring expression of Merlot with gorgeous aromas of fig, raspberry jam, cherry cola and vanilla. On the palate, this wine is supple and fleshy with firm tannins adding dimension to flavors of pomegranate, strawberry-rhubarb pie, chocolate and exotic spice.
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.