It has a dark ruby color and a nose of fresh, ripe black cherry and blackberry, dark chocolate and what the French call “torifaction”, the alluring smell of roasting coffee. On the palate, it has an attack full of explosive fruit and violets prolonged by plenty of umami, the savory fifth taste. It has a long finish echoing berry fruit and chocolate and grainy well-integrated tannins that promise excellent cellaring potential. This Merlot will continue to give drinking pleasure through 2022.
The 2007 vintage had an unusual combination of a light crop and a cool summer which resulted in great concentration and mature flavors and tannins at moderate alcohol. The season started cool and dry with less than an inch of rain in January. The dry weather continued into spring and the dry soils induced early budbreak and bloom. Fruit set was light and berries were small: crop levels were 15 to 20% below normal. Summer weather was mild with temperatures rarely exceeding 90˚F. Continued dry weather, a warm spell in early August and a Labor Day heat wave were the catalysts for achieving perfect maturity. Contrary to popular belief, low yields do not always make a great vintage, but in 2007, the small berries and long, slow ripening resulted in extraordinary wines.