2014 Reserve Merlot 750ml
Number of Cases: 238
Vineyard: Our 2014 Reserve Merlot was grown at the Hanna Red Ranch in Alexander Valley. The Red Ranch is planted to 50 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 10 acres of Malbec and two-and-a-half acres of Merlot. The Merlot on this ranch was planted in 1990 to clone 3 on 110R rootstock. The Cabernet is planted to clones 2, 6, 7, 412 and 685, and the Malbec to clone 9.
Vintage 2014: The 2014 growing season was very dry and early. Despite the early bud break and bloom there were few spring frost events. The peak summer months were warm and moderate, so disease pressure was low, ripening was even and color and flavor development phenomenal. The Merlot was harvested on September 16, 2014 at an average 26.6o Brix, the Malbec on September 23, at 24.5 o Brix and the Cab on October 7, and 8, at 27.3 o Brix.
Winemaking: We hand-harvested in the cool hours from midnight to sunrise. The grapes were sorted, destemmed and partially crushed to stainless steel fermentation tanks. Pressing was done “to taste”, based on daily tastings of the wines after pumpover. The newly pressed wines were racked to tank and allowed to settle before barreling. The initial blend was assembled in the winter of 2015 and fine-tuned in the spring of 2016. The Reserve Merlot was aged in 60 gallon French and Hungarian oak barrels for 20 months.
Tasting Notes: Deep garnet in color, it displays aromas of roasted cherries, clover blossom, rose buds, tamarind jam and pecan pie. By mouth there are flavors of chocolate Necco wafer, brioche, raspberry and white peppercorn. Texturally it is juicy, supple, viscous with a fresh and lasting finish. (Tasted 2/06/17)
Variety: 75% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec
Harvest Dates: September 16, to October 8, 2014
Avg. Brix at Harvest: 26.0o
Malolactic Fermentation: 100% of blend
Length/Type of Aging: 30 months in 60 gallon French and Hungarian Oak barrels
Bottling Date: July 12, 2016