I love Merlot. Good Merlot to be exact. And one of my missions in life is to change people’s minds about the grape variety. Those in the know are aware that well-made Merlot from a great region is a grape of passion that can be both explosive and subtle at the same time. It certainly is one of the most versatile red wines, capable of pairing with an extreme variety of foods. Unfortunately, most people wouldn’t know a good Merlot if it jumped up and bit them on the ass.
Our 2017 Merlot hails from a cool-climate vineyard located deep amongst the rolling hills and oak forests of Paso Robles’ west side. The Casa Grande Vineyard is pretty close to as far north on Vineyard Drive as you can go without running into Adelaida road. The south-facing slope allows for perfect and even ripening. Crushed, saigneed, and fermented in small, one ton bins, the grapes yielded a wonderfully concentrated wine that was ultimately aged for 19 months in nice French oak barrels. And as always, we bottled this with no other blenders.
Chocolate covered cherries is the predominant aroma of this wine. Hints of herbs and a tea leaf as well. Rich and ripe flavors of bittersweet chocolate and blackberries along with black fruits and sexy toasted oak linger forever. A thread of crisp acidity coupled with sturdy tannins helps maintain the finish and provides for a very complex and luxurious sensation. This wine will pair well with foods as diverse as steaks, pork dishes, and pizza.
Remember the Leopard!