2013 Merlot Estate Grown

Santa Ynez Valley AVA, 83% Merlot/17% Cabernet Sauvignon

Merlot, the most widely planted red grape in the Bordeaux region of France, reaches its apogee of quality on the Right Bank of the Gironde River in the Pomerol district. There, often blended with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, it produces wines much appreciated for their juicy black plum and boysenberry flavors; soft, bushy textures; and moderately tannic backbone. Planted in gravelly-clay soils, Merlot in Pomerol is, above all, known for its immediate charms and remarkable ability to evolve and develop with bottle age. At Baehner-Fournier, it is this very particular expression of Merlot to which we aspire.

Made of 100% estate grown grapes from the Baehner-Fournier Vineyards, our 2013 Merlot expresses the sand and gravelly-clay terroir of 2 radically sloped, northeast facing blocks, planted in soils very similar to those found in Pomerol and in the neighboring  St. Emillion. Fruit, picked at moderate levels of ripeness, is destemmed and gently crushed to small open top fermenters and, after a 3 day cold-soak, spends an average of 18 days on skins to best extract the intense flavors and aromas that the estate vineyard produces. Aging for 19 months in 20% new French oak has resulted in a polished, glossy mouth feel and subtle aromas of coffee and mocha.

Aromas of sweet Bing Cherries mingle with sage, hints of clove, nutmeg and dried flowers. On the palate dried cherries blend with flavors of black currant and spice. Long soft tannins create a plush backdrop to the fruit.

Winemaker Steve Clifton

Antonio Galloni Vinous 89
San Francisco Chronicle 2016 Wine Competition Silver Medal

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48 cases produced

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