Sonoma County Merlot 2017
/ Sonoma County
Grapes: 100% Merlot
The grapes come from estate vineyards in the Sonoma and Russian River valleys, as well as from growers in Sonoma County’s other top appellations, including Alexander Valley and Rockpile. All grapes are hand harvested, gently destemmed and crushed before cold soaking to extract optimal color and flavor. The fruit is then inoculated with many different yeast strains to build complexity, and fermented in separate lots using a combination of pump-overs and rack-and-return to soften tannins. The wine is matured in oak barrels.
Press Democrat2017 vintage
Sunset International Wine Competition2017 vintage
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. Our 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.
This Merlot shows off deep, rich color and structure. Layers of aromas and flavors of cassis, plum, dried currant and savory spices introduce a long, silky finish in this classic wine.
GRAPES: 100% Merlot
APPELLATION: Sonoma County
AGING: 16 months in 100% French Oak
points of distinction
- A classic California Merlot with luscious hints of plum and chocolate
- Matured for 14 months in oak barrels for a complex flavor
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
“Spicy, yet smooth and silky, this luscious wine pairs perfectly with any occasion."
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