Reserve Merlot 2017

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

Reserve Merlot 2017

Region: America / California / Sonoma Valley
Grapes: 100% Merlot

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.

92 Points

eRobertParker.com

2016 vintage
94 Points

Jeb Dunnuck

2016 vintage
view all press reviews

harvest note

The 2017 growing season started out wet with record-breaking rainfall refreshing the vineyards after several dry years. The mild spring led to timely bud break and good fruit set, followed by ideal conditions of cool mornings and warm, sunny days throughout the summer months. The first grapes of the season were “blessed” on August 25, officially beginning the St. Francis harvest. A few days of intense heat at the beginning of September sped up ripening throughout the region. Well-timed picks throughout the month meant the majority of fruit was in by the first week of October. Beautiful color, well-defined aromatics and outstanding flavor are all evident in this year’s vintage.

tasting note

This Reserve wine captivates with the expressive flavors, full body and balanced acidity that come from ideal Sonoma Valley conditions. Abundant aromas of dark red fruits and French Roast coffee merge with mocha, plum and cherry preserve flavors, finishing smooth and slightly spicy.

food pairing

Excellent with duck confit, short ribs and poached pears.

technical data

GRAPES: 100% Merlot
APPELLATION: Sonoma Valley
PH: 3.7
ABV: 14.9%
AGING: 20 months, 100% French oak

points of distinction

  • Aged in 100% French oak barrels
  • vineyard details +
  • about the grape +
Sq_sfv_bell-tower Chris-louton-230

“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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