BLEND 76% Merlot; 14% Cabernet Sauvignon; 10% Cabernet Franc VINEYARDS: 53% Ricci; 21% Rancho Salina; 14% Sangiacomo; 7% Atwood; 5% Horne
APPELLATION Sonoma Valley
SUGAR AT HARVEST 24.6 degrees Brix average
FERMENTATION 12 days in stainless steel tanks, pumped over three times daily
AGING / COOPERAGE Aged 24 months in 20% new oak barrels: French, Hungarian, and American
ALCOHOL 14.0% by volume
ACIDITY TA = 0.63 g/100ml; pH = 3.45
This powerful yet elegant Merlot is crafted in the classic Bordeaux style that Walter Schug pioneered in California while winemaster of Joseph Phelps Vineyards (1973 to 1983). The grapes were sourced from the Ricci Vineyard and Sangiacomo Vineyards in the Carneros district of southern Sonoma Valley, as well as the Rancho Salina Vineyard in Sonoma Valley. These cooler microclimates provide the longer growing season necessary for Merlot to ripen slowly and develop maximum flavor. It has a spicy bouquet, deep color and exhibits full-bodied flavors of cherry, blackberry and spice. Try it now with grilled fish, pasta, lamb and steaks, or cellar it for 5 to 7 years.