Rich aromas of ripe black cherry accentuated by hints of cedar emanate from our 2014 Merlot. Lush, ruby-red color indicates the level of concentration yielded by the vintage and the vineyards. On the palate, rich flavors mirror the aromas and are complemented by soft, silky tannins on the finish.
The 2014 vintage was another challenging season in Paso Robles. We began our spring with marginal moisture, the product of meager winter rains. This daunting start was followed by a warm early spring with average temperatures through April and May that gave us a reasonable start to the growing season. These moderate temperatures and seasonable conditions gave us excellent flowering and fruit set circumstances that resulted in a normal cluster count. From here our temperatures remained moderate until we experienced a short heat spike at the end of August and again longer sustained heat spell at the start of October before moderating to normal temperatures to finish the season. Overall we experienced a vigorous harvest season that presented perfect conditions for excellent ripening at a bracing rate resulting in amazing depth of color and wonderful flavor maturity. Our 2014 Merlot hails from several vineyards planted in the alluvial soils of the Estrella and Creston Districts and the sedimentary clays of the Templeton District west of town. Cabernet Franc from the gently rolling loamy soils of the “Brady Vineyard” is blended to soften and accent the Merlot. The fusion of concentrated fruit-forward Merlot from Paso Robles, married to soft and flowery Cabernet Franc grown on a rigorous well-drained soil, yields a blend with opulent fruit, intriguing complexity, and satisfying structure.
Our 2014 Merlot was produced from grapes picked in mid-September. Maceration lasted 8 days and was assisted by traditional pump-over to amplify color and flavor release. Subsequent to fermentation, the wine was drawn off and the skins pressed. After settling, the wine was racked into French and Eastern European oak barrels where it completed malolactic fermentation and matured for 18 months. Prior to bottling the wine received a final racking to stainless steel where the blend was assembled in preparation for bottling
Barrel Aged: 18 Months
Bottled: March 2016