Reserve Merlot 2015
/ Sonoma Valley
Grapes: 100% Merlot
The Reserve Merlot shows off the rich and flavorful fruit grown in the Wild Oak Estate Vineyard and Behler Estate Vineyard, both in Sonoma Valley. This picturesque valley is surrounded by the Sonoma Mountains to the west and the Mayacamas Mountains to the east, providing perfect conditions for Merlot grapes. For additional richness and length, Merlot from high atop Sonoma Mountain was blended in to complement our valley floor fruit. This area’s warm summer days are cooled by evening breezes and fog from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in fruit with deep, complex flavors and aromas. After hand-sorting, the grapes underwent a two-day cold soak to extract optimal color and flavor. The wine was then aged in 100% French oak barrels, 65% new, where it underwent malolactic fermentation, followed by 20 months of aging.
USA Wine Ratings2015 vintage
Wine Advocate2015 vintage
2015 brought an early and light harvest that began on August 10, the earliest date in St. Francis’ history. The year started out very warm and dry but then cool, damp weather in May hampered fruit set. Though the result was smaller, looser clusters on the vine, the warm and consistent summer that followed produced high quality fruit with exceptional aromatics and concentrated flavors.
Full-bodied, rich and velvety, the Reserve Merlot features toasty aromas of plum pudding, espresso and black licorice. Flavors to follow are full of depth with notes of mocha, blackberry and baking chocolate emerging before the lengthy finish.
Excellent with duck confit, short ribs and poached pears.
GRAPES: 100% Merlot
APPELLATION: Sonoma Valley
ACIDITY: 0.58 g/l
AGING: 20 Months, 100% French Oak
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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