Reserve Merlot 2018
/ 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.
Wine Spectator2017 vintage
San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition2017 vintage
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.
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.
Excellent with duck confit, short ribs and poached pears.
GRAPES: 100% Merlot
APPELLATION: Sonoma Valley
ACIDITY: .67 g/100
AGING: 20 Months, 100% French Oak, 42% New 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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