(From 2008 Vintage) The Sonoma Reserve Merlot 2008 offers aromas of fresh fruit, savory herbs, cocoa,and toasty oak. The wine is full-bodied with flavors of plum and black cherry layeredwith oak spice and bright acidity. On the palate, this wine is concentrated with greatstructure, fresh fruit, and lively acidity, coming together in a long and pleasing finish.
(From 2007 Vintage) Grapes were hand picked at the peak of harvest for optimal ripeness and quality. Following harvest, grapes were destemmed and crushed. Immediately after the crush, grapes were cold soaked for 3-5 days to extract flavor, color, and tannins. Primary fermentation in stainless steel was followed by aging in a combination of new and seasoned French, American, and Hungarian oak barrels for 20 months.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines11% Cabernet Sauvignon; 5% Petite Sirah; 5% Syrah. Boasting the names of important grapes in its cepage, this wine contains 79% Merlot but barely speaks the name of its dominant variety. Instead, it is mild, thin and angular and absent any sense of soul. It winds up being all the things that have brought Merlot a bad name that it does not entirely deserve.