Reserve Merlot 2013
/ Sonoma Valley
Grapes: 80% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc
The fruit for our Reserve Sonoma Valley Merlot is grown exclusively in our Certified Sustainable Estate Behler and Wild Oak Vineyards. These vineyards are both 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 four-day cold soak to extract optimal color and flavor. For added depth and complexity, we blended in a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cab Franc. The selected lots are fermented separately in stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new, where it underwent malolactic fermentation, followed by 20 months of aging.
Wine Spectator2013 vintage
Quarterly Review of Wines2013 vintage
High quality, outstanding fruit characteristics and generous yields describe the 2013 harvest. Harvest started slightly earlier than previous years after an ideal growing season that provided optimum temperatures for grapes to ripen. We had a wealth of sunshine and consistently warm days and cool nights, allowing the fruit ample time to develop full, rich flavors with great color and balance.
The Reserve Sonoma Valley Merlot is a lush wine with spicy aromas of berry, licorice and vanilla. Flavors of blackberry, chocolate and cassis shine before a long, smooth finish.
Excellent with duck confit, short ribs and poached pears
GRAPES: 80% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc
APPELLATION: Sonoma Valley
AGING: Aged in 100% French oak barrels for 20 months
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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