Add a vintage
In Bordeaux, where many feel Merlot reaches its greatest expression, it is grown almost exclusively in those soils an...Read more...
Food Pairings for Clos Pegase Merlot Carneros Mitsuko's Vineyard
In Bordeaux, where many feel Merlot reaches its greatest expression, it is grown almost exclusively in those soils and microclimates that have proven too cool to ripen Cabernet Sauvignon, the latter being considered of greater concentration, tannin and keeping quality. With the recent phylloxera epidemic forcing wholesale replanting of much of the Napa Valley, the same trend in thought has inspired us to seek the cooler reaches of Napa when planting Merlot. This achieves two ends: First we save valuable land for the venerable Cabernet vines; and second, we return Merlot to its more native expression, one of pure red fruits and lightly, herbal, earthy tones as opposed to the more ponderous, jammy style one evokes in warmer climates. Mitsuko's Vineyard, in Carneros, provides us with clay slopes of varying aspect to try our hand at just such a classical style. Our Merlot is harvested quite late, relative to other sites in the Valley, as we await the subtle evolution of fruit and acid balance that is so difficult to precisely achieve in Merlot. Once the fruit is picked by hand, we gently destem the berries and transfer them to our fermentation tanks. Many of the lots undergo a saignée -- the "bleeding off" of a small percentage of the uncolored juice to concentrate the remaining must prior to fermentation. (Think of a chef reducing a sauce by removing some of the excess liquid). Typically the fruit is macerated cold for 5 to 7 days, where much of the color and primary fruit flavors steep into the must. The fermentations are completely native, and the wines are often pressed at dryness, with only a brief period of extended skin contact. Once pressed the wine is sent to French oak barrels, about 40% new, for malolactic fermentation and continued maturation, which usually takes about 20 months. During this time the wine is frequently topped off, and occasionally racked (separating the sediment from the wine) until we feel it is ready to be bottled without filtration. Redolent of red currants, raspberries and plum cherries with hints of mint and sous bois, our Merlot possesses the rich tannin structure and natural acidity to age and evolve in the more classic manner preferred by our Bordeaux brethren.
Best Wine Deals
Accidental Wine EntusiastReplied
Pb Hein Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)Cellared
Tosti Asti Spumante Champagne (NV)Wishlisted
Secret Santa 2013 for wine. The Reveal! The Guesses! So are we ready to find out how close we were?Replied
Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Reserve (2005)Cellared
Hello Snooth! Pinot NoirsReplied
Whatcha drinking tonight? - part 1 because 2nd place is the first loser ;)Replied
The Côte de Nuits In Your Glass(es)Commented
9 Basic Traits of WineCommented
Five Key Wine Components and How to Detect ThemCommented