ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley

• COMPOSITION: 92% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon
• AGING: 22 months in French & American Oak
• pH: 3.63
• TA: 0.59g / L
• ALCOHOL: 13.7%
• BOTTLED: February 2006
• PRODUCTION: 2,250 cases


Vintage

2003 was an ideal growing season. Spring conditions led to an even bud break and the absence of rain made for a beautiful fruit set. Summer temperatures were above average and rainfall was below average, resulting in very even and predictable ripening. Very warm September temperatures led to full ripe flavors in the fruit.


Winemaking

After picking, the Estate Grown Merlot was gently crushed into open top stainless steel fermentation tanks. The skins and juice were allowed to “cold soak” for a number of days prior to the addition of cultured yeast. This process creates darker colors and enhances the ripeness of flavors. After fermentation was completed, the finished wine was drawn off and the skins were pressed. 100% of the vintage was aged in small French and American oak barrels for 22 months. Gentle racking of the barrels allowed for the removal of solids without filtration. After aging, a small amount of Gordon Brothers Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon was blended into the 2003 Merlot to add complexity to the wine.


Winemaker Comments

A deep ruby color signifies this bold Merlot with rich aromas of black cherry, rose petals and nutmeg. Aged for 22 months in small French and American Oak Barrels this Merlot has great mouth feel with smooth tannins and a toasty lingering finish. This is a great wine to pair with your favorite grilled meats.