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2016 Merlot Estate
Wine Specs
Estate, Santa Ynez Valley
Alcohol %

2016 Merlot Estate

Bing cherry compote, blackberries, blueberries, baking spices and black tea leaf aromas evolve into a rich, yet velvety mouthfeel.  Plush tannins and medium acidity give way to nuances of mixed berry cobbler, warm cocoa and vanilla undertones.  This rich, full bodied wine displays plenty of dense, dark fruit in full balance with a long, exquisite finish.

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/ Case of 12


8% Block A

8% Block B

35% Block C

35% Block D

14% High-Density Villa Blocks


Grapes for the 2016 Estate Merlot come from all corners of the property. All lots were night-picked to ensure clean and cool fruit was delivered to the winery. Upon receiving the fruit, the production staff at Sunstone Winery de-stemmed and gently crushed the fruit into separate stainless steel fermentation vessels. After a 5-day cold soak the lots were inoculated with separate yeasts to create complexity and variation in the 2016 Estate Merlot programs. Blocks A and B were inoculated using the well-known BDX yeast strain and blocks C and D were inoculated using FX10, a strain engineered to reduce pyrazine perception in Bordeaux varietals. The High-Density Villa Blocks were fermented “uninoculated”, a custom in our production history. This block is also left to ferment with full stem-inclusion to provide mouth-gripping tannins and offer a wine lot that complements many of our blends blends. Post fermentation the lots were aged separately in a combination of new and neutral French Oak barrels for 15 months before being blended to taste and bottled in February 2018. The resulting wine contains 20% new French oak from two cooperages, TW Boswell and Mercier. 

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