2015 Estate Merlot
Estate Merlot is an elegant, structured wine with bright fruit aromas, a medium body and balanced acidity. Hand harvested, wild fermented and bottled unfiltered and un-fined. Showing notes of blackberries, graphite and black olive, blend with fine tannins and contribute to a lingering finish.
Harvest 2015 started out with an extremely cold winter and a lot of snow, making it the second winter in a row of damagingly low temperatures in the vineyard. Vine damage was prevalent across the region, particularly in low spots and susceptible varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec and Merlot. At Raphael vine kill was prevalent as well as bud kill decimated some entire blocks producing secondary, and tertiary buds without a crop.
The entire growing season seemed to be shifted back about a month and compacted. We started with a late spring and bud break. The early summer, June and July, was relatively mild and dry. With moderate rain and even some hail. The heat kicked in starting in August and persisted through the end of September. Very dry conditions accompanied the heat and drought stress was prevalent.
With a very small crop and hot conditions during the ripening season, particularly at night, harvest came very early. Starting right at the beginning of September, one of the earliest starts on record. All the whites were harvested by mid-September and even some reds were picked before the first of October due to the threat of a hurricane. October cooled off and slowed things down a bit allowing the remaining red grapes, the reserve wines, to hang and gain some additional phenolic ripeness. All the remaining fruit was picked by the third week of October. The wines from 2015 were all well balanced with the harvest being notably a ‘hurry-up and wait’ scenario to harvest the grapes at the correct ripeness and chemistry. With the heat both whites and reds had an un-normally low TA but the pH and flavors were perfect allowing wines to be made without any manipulation just as the 2014 and 2013 wines. The low crop and natural balance of 2015 shows in richness and concentration of both the white and red wines.
Grapes are hand harvested de-stemmed without crushing. The grapes from different lots were fermented separately without additives. Fermentation was carried out by indigenous yeast, at temperatures reaching 80F and lasted 4 weeks. This wine is made in stainless steel where it underwent Malo-Lactic Fermentation, then aged for 18 months before blending and was bottled unfiltered and un-fined.
|Dimensions||3 x 3 x 12 in|
Mix of Neutral Oak & Stainless Steel