Our 2018 Sonoma County Merlot is lush with notes of blackberry, fig compote and cassis. Medium bodied with soft tannins, this wine boasts toasty oak and spice on the mid-palate punctuated by a full and lively finish. These luscious dark fruit and toasty flavors are enhanced by aging in French oak barrels. Enjoy this soft and elegant Merlot with grilled pork chops and cherry reduction, lavender crusted lamb shanks or creamy polenta with a short rib ragu.
We've been growing Merlot since the early 1970s, when Rod Strong first planted it in Geyserville, the heart of Alexander Valley. Today we continue to farm Merlot in three estate vineyards in Alexander Valley, where it grows into grapes that display the deep dark fruit flavors and mature tannins typical of a warmer American Viticultural Area.
The 2018 growing season was dry through spring with well below normal precipitation. Cooler weather dominated this vintage with only two short, relatively mild heat spikes through the entire growing season. Summer days were very pleasant in Sonoma County with highs in the 70s and 80s and with August having even warmer temperatures. With everything in balance, we harvested September 20 through October 11.