(From 2009 Vintage) The Merlot grapes were handpicked at night to preserve fruit character and gently destemmed before a five day cold soak which increased color, fruit essence and structure. Following primary fermentation in open top fermenters, the wine was aged in a combination of American, Hungarian and French barrels for 16 months. A small amount of Syrah and Pinot Noir was blended before bottling to add depth and complexity to the finished wine.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California WinesIts rich aromas of black cherries and sweet spice are paralleled in kind by its generously oaked, well-ripened fruit flavors, and, if this fleshy, fairly full-bodied Merlot can be criticized for its last-minute heat, it wins recommendation for its overall richness and sense of substance. It can be enjoyed now, but it should gain in polish with a few years of age.