Rich and full, this Merlot is a brilliant red garnet color with aromas and flavors of plush red and blue fruit leading with blueberries, raspberries and dark cherry, accented with toffee, oak spice and chocolate mocha. Tannins are well integrated and silky fine, with lingering added flavors of dark plum, currant and touches of espresso.
The majority of this wine was made from grapes grown on Beringer’s Big Ranch Vineyard in Oak Knoll, a relatively cool vineyard which produces Merlot of exceptional character and quality. The other primary vineyard blended in this Merlot is Beringer’s Gamble Ranch in Oakville.
The 2013 vintage began with a warm, dry spring and relatively early bud break. Summer was notably consistent with even, warm temperatures throughout. Harvest began quite early in August, and by September the majority of whites and lighter reds were completely off the vines. The cooler, sunny weather throughout October allowed grapes still on the vine to develop more phenolic and flavor maturity levels. Overall, it was a high quality crop that was above average in quantity.
Kept in separate small lots until the final blending, the grapes for our Merlot were picked, quickly brought to the winery and placed in small stainless steel tanks for a 2-day cold soak designed to extract color and flavor from the grapes. The juice was then fermented dry and the young wine was placed in small French oak barrels (30% new) for twelve months.