Wellington Vineyards Merlot Sonoma Valley 2004
2004 was a dream vintage. Almost everything ripened very evenly, including our estate Merlot. As always, we did trial blends with Cabernet sauvignon and Cabernet franc from different vineyards to determine the best final blend. Those didn’t seem to add the final touch of structure that we were looking for, so we went outside of the box and tried some Syrah. Voila, we got a little added backbone and pumped up the fruit without taking away from the Merlot personality of the wine. The nose has fresh berry and cherry aromas, brown sugar/caramel, lots of brown spice (clove and nutmeg) with hints of chocolate, orange peel, licorice and black pepper. The fruit is spot-on ripe, with neither any greenness nor raisin. The entry is full bodied and supple, but with enough acid to keep it clean and focused. The flavors echo the aromas – lots of fruit and spice. The finish is clean and dry with good length. This vintage is a little softer than the previous couple of years and is ready to enjoy now, but is probably not a candidate for long-term aging.
Wellington Vineyards is owned by the father and son team of John and Peter Wellington. John purchased the winery site in 1986. At the time, it consisted of 20 acres of old vines and a few decrepit old fruit and nut trees. Replanting of part of the old vineyard and orchard started in 1988. The winery was completed in time for the 1989 crush. We grow approximately half the grapes we use and purchase the remainder, primarily from small, unique vineyards
Wow. This was a really good value. The alcohol was a bit hot at first, but rounded out nicely with a bit of air to let the dark, jammy fruit emerge. There's a ton of ripe fruit on entry, that darkens and builds nicely on the mid-palate to a ripping finish. Don't be surprised if the bottle has a fair bit of sediment. This the third product that I've purchased from the producer and they've all had a significant amount. I've heard through the grapevine that it's pretty typical for Wellington's wines.
Smelled slightly corked upon open. After an hour or so seemed better and tasted ok. Will revisit this evening, and I have another bottle which is hopefully better.
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