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St. Francis Reserve Merlot 2013
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The fruit for our Reserve Sonoma Valley Merlot is grown exclusively in our Certified Sustainable Estate Behler and Wild Oak Vineyards. These vineyards are both relatively well protected from extreme weather patterns such as excessive heat and wind. This protection allows for slow and even ripening throughout the growing season resulting in fruit with great color and deep flavors. After hand-sorting, the grapes underwent a four-day cold soak to extract optimal color and flavor. For added depth and complexity, we blended in a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cab Franc. The selected lots are fermented separately in stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new, where it underwent malolactic fermentation, followed by 20 months of aging.
The Reserve Sonoma Valley Merlot is a lush wine with spicy aromas of berry, licorice and vanilla. Flavors of blackberry, chocolate and cassis shine before a long, smooth finish.
Food Pairing: Excellent with Duck Confit, Short Ribs and Poached Pears.
Wine SpectatorFloral aromas of cherry and tomato leaf lead to focused, nicely layered flavors of red currant, toasty spice and tobacco. Drink now through 2023. 500 cases made.
Wine EnthusiastThis wine presents itself full-bodied and big in style, with an inkling of red plum and cherry fighting for attention against a tide of rounded concentration and darker, smokier tinges of cigar and chocolate.