Reserve Merlot 2015

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

Reserve Merlot 2015

Region: America / California / 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.

95 Points

USA Wine Ratings

2015 vintage
92 Points

Wine Advocate

2015 vintage
view all press reviews

harvest note

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.

tasting note

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.

food pairing

Excellent with duck confit, short ribs and poached pears.

technical data

GRAPES: 100% Merlot
APPELLATION: Sonoma Valley
PH: 3.59
ACIDITY: 0.58 g/l
ABV: 15.2%
AGING: 20 Months, 100% French Oak

points of distinction

  • Aged in 100% French oak barrels
  • vineyard details +
  • about the grape +
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“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.”

– Chris Louton, Winemaker

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