Reserve Merlot 2018

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

Reserve Merlot 2018

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

The wine shows off the rich and flavorful fruit grown 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. 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. This special wine's fruit is sourced from three vineyards: the Dinner Vineyard high atop Sonoma Mountain and the Murray Vineyard located on the mountain’s eastern facing benchland for structure and Wild Oak Estate Vineyard on the valley floor for softer, flavors and texture. 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, 42% new, where it underwent malolactic fermentation, followed by 20 months of aging.

91 Points

Wine Spectator

2017 vintage
Gold Medal

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

2017 vintage
view all press reviews

harvest note

A fairly mild growing season with few heat spikes allowed the 2018 harvest to begin right after Labor day, later than previous years. The consistent growing season and cooler temperatures allowed for slow ripening and deep flavor development resulting in exceptional quality fruit with remarkable balance and brightness.

tasting note

Layered and expressive, this elegant and aromatic Merlot entices with generous flavors of dark red fruits, plum preserves, pomegranate and mulling spices balanced by good acidity and soft, polished tannins.

food pairing

Excellent with duck confit, short ribs and poached pears.

technical data

GRAPES: 100% Merlot
APPELLATION: Sonoma Valley
PH: 3.69
ACIDITY: .67 g/100
ABV: 14.9%
AGING: 20 Months, 100% French Oak, 42% New 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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