/ Sonoma Valley
Fruit from the Reserve Merlot comes exclusively from Sonoma Valley vineyards, which are relatively well protected from extreme weather patterns such as excessive heat and wind. This protection allows for slow and even ripening throughout the growing season resulting in fruit with great color and deep flavors. After hand-sorting, the grapes underwent a five-day cold soak to extract optimal color and flavor. Prior to fermentation, a saigné was performed. The selected lots are fermented separately in stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged in 100% French oak barrels, where it underwent malolactic fermentation, followed by 20 months of aging.
Quarterly Review of Wines2013 vintage
The Reserve Sonoma Valley Merlot is a lush wine with spicy aromas of berry, licorice and sage. Flavors of chocolate and cassis shine before a long, smooth finish.
Excellent with Duck Confit, Short Ribs and Poached Pears
points of distinction
- Aged in 100% French oak barrels
vineyard details +
Sonoma Valley AVA
Sonoma Valley AVA is in southern Sonoma County, flanked by the Sonoma Mountains to the west and the Mayacamas to the east. The climate is moderated by the Pacific Ocean’s cool summer fogs and the influence of San Pablo Bay to the south. St. Francis owns 600 acres of carefully chosen, diverse Sonoma County vineyards. The winery’s estate vineyards give it complete control over growing and production, a cornerstone to St. Francis’ quality philosophy. Each of the four estate-owned vineyards has its own soil profile and unique mesoclimate that forms a “tapestry of terroirs” carefully matched to the grape varieties grown there.
about the grape +
Merlot makes plump, succulent wines to drink young or opulently massive wines for aging. Has silky, blackberry and currant fruit, with spice, earth, tobacco and chocolate notes, and soft tannins.
– Chris Louton, Winemaker
“Putting this wine together, it was important to find the lots that really showcased why Sonoma Valley is the home for our Merlot. Dark cherry, plum and savory aromas along with mocha are highlighted by using Malbec to add additional layers of complexity and mouthfeel. Our warm days, breezy afternoons and cool nights give us the opportunity to slowly ripen and develop all these great characters.”
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