2012 First Label Merlot
Wine Enthusiast: 91 PTS
Wine Advocate: 90 PTS
Our first label Merlot is made from our finest Estate grown fruit. A balanced, full bodied wine full of complexity and flavor, softened by velvety tannins. Our reserve grapes are hand harvested, hand sorted and wild fermented. Aged for 18 months in French oak barrels before bottling unfiltered and unfined. This wine was structured to age gracefully for many years.
2012 featured a great vintage across the east coast. Here on Long Island, a warm snowless winter turned into one of the hottest, earliest springs on record. Budbreak in April started as early as the 10th, which increased the risk of frost at some sites. Summer brought copious heat and sunshine, with sustained temperatures in the 90’s. With minimal rainfall some near-drought conditions were prevalent across the region throughout the summer months. With the heat came the humidity and disease pressure persisted through the growing season. A cooler wet September & October slowed ripening and increased disease. This caused many growers to make harvest decisions based on weather and rot, which culminated in all grapes being harvested before hurricane Sandy hit the region on October 29th.
Overall yields and sugar levels were lower than expected but flavors developed perfectly and tannins were able to fully ripen. For what was harvested at the right time this may turn out to be a perfect season, with wines showing excellent natural balance of ripe fruit and tannin structure, with a cool fall preserving acidity, and alcohol levels not to high.
Winemaking: After hand harvesting the grapes were de-stemmed but not crushed, then hand sorted before being placed in tank. Fermentation was carried out by wild, indigenous yeast, very slowly with whole berry fermentation. The cap was managed with minimal punch-downs and pump-overs, fermentation temperatures were unregulated, naturally occurring between 65-85 F over the course of a fermentation and post fermentation maceration lasting over 5 weeks. The wine was pressed and placed into French oak barrels for 18 months. In which time the wine underwent Malo-Lactic fermentation and was racked several times. The wine was blended at the last minute and bottled un-filtered and un-fined
|Dimensions||3 x 3 x 12 in|
18 Months French Oak