2017 Reserve Merlot
The 2017 Reserve Merlot expresses aromas of sweet cassis, toasted cedar, and dark espresso evolving into more complex aromas of licorice and baking spices. The palate is smooth with a fine tannin structure and flavors of sweet plums, smoked fig, and salted caramel. The finish is elegant with lingering flavors of sweet toasted oak.
100% Estate Grown
To begin 2017, Eastern Washington was in the midst of a brutal winter that lingered on into early March. Our concerns of winter damage to the vines were alleviated towards the end of April when our vineyards came back to life with bud break. Bud break was a bit behind a normal Washington vintage, but not by much. Spring of 2017 was warm, and this led to rapid growth in the vineyards. The spring led into a perfect Eastern Washington summer with warm days and cool nights that we are keen on for a great growing season. Veraison happened around the first of August, and with all the last-minute adjustments to crop size we were very pleased. Wildfires were a great deal of concern for us, but as damaging as these fires were, thankfully our estate vineyard was not impacted by the excessive smoke we experienced in the state. Very similar to the 2016 vintage, we had a much cooler than average September that slowed the ripening process down quite a bit. This allowed the grapes to hang on the vines much longer to achieve optimal ripeness for flavor development and sugar content. This meant a later harvest season for us as we brought in the last of our grapes in early November.
Sourced exclusively from reserve tier blocks in our estate vineyard, the caliber of this wine begins in the vineyard. The crop size is managed with winter pruning, then extra thinning in the spring all the way up until summer. During summer, our management of these blocks is even more meticulous with proper water stress and canopy management to ensure the grapes have ideal growth and exposure. Harvested by hand in early October at optimal ripeness, the grapes were then hand sorted and destemmed before being sent to small stainless-steel fermenters. The grapes were then cold soaked for 72 hours to help extract color without the interference of alcohol. After the cold soak, the grapes were warmed and inoculated with two special yeast strains, one to help develop varietal characteristics, the other for more fruit and structure. Extraction was more aggressive early on with lengthy pump overs and a delastage to achieve optimal extraction. Once alcohol levels were around 7%, our extraction methods were a gentler approach with less pump overs and more punch downs as to not over extract the wine. The wine was fermented on the skins until dry, about 13 days, then drained with the grapes being sent to a press for a gentle pressing to extract the remaining juice from the grapes. The wine was then sent to exclusive French oak barrels for Malo-Lactic Fermentation and aging. After MLF was completed, the wine’s lees were stirred twice a month for three months. This process helps naturally soften the wines and creates more roundness on the palate. Aged for approximately 20 months in 55% New French Oak, 25% 1-4 year old French oak, and 20% Neutral oak before being prepared for bottling.
Grilled Lamb Chops with Fresh Herbs
Beef Tenderloin and Grilled Vegetables
Roasted Chicken or Duck
Gruyere or Cantalet
- Varietal Composition: Merlot
- Appellation: Yakima Valley
- Aging / Barrel Program: 20 Months in 100% French Oak (55% New, 25% 1-4 Year, 20% Neutral Oak)
- Cases Produced: 295
- Alcohol: 14.3
- pH: 3.89
- Acidity: 6.0 g/L
- Ageability: Now through 2032