100% Merlot, Block A, Sunstone Estate Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara County
Blackberries, herbal tea, smoke, baking spices, dried bay leaves, black olives, and cedar box coalesce and evolve into a rich, yet medium-soft and velvety mouthful of cherry pie, finished by baked almonds, dark chocolate and vanilla bean.
The 2012 Merlot Reserve is produced exclusively from "Block A" Merlot grapes grown on our 24-year old Estate vineyard. Farmed to California Certified Organic Farmer (C.C.O.F.) specifications, Sunstone Estate vineyards produces ultra-premium quality wines with distinct varietal character, thanks to the site¹s unique terroir. During harvest the grapes were lightly crushed and de-stemmed, then pumped into 3/4 ton open top fermentation bins. After cold soaking, the grapes were inoculated with BDX yeast and allowed to ferment and macerate for 12-days on the skins to extract maximum color and flavor. Following fermentation, the wines were racked to 20% new and 80% neutral French oak barrels. After barrel aging for 23-months, the separate lots were blended to taste before being bottled in September, 2014.
In the U.S. there are no regulations for the term "Reserve". The term is self-regulated with winemaker integrity being the underlying value that gives the term its credence. Traditionally winemakers would ³reserve² some of their best wine. Sometimes, reserve wine originates from the best vineyards, or the best barrels, making it more special. However, in regions where the use is not regulated the mere presence of the term ³reserve² on a wine label may be only marketing strategy. We at Sunstone use the term with fervent respect.
With proper cellaring this 2012 vintage Reserve Merlot was aged in the barrel long enough for consumers to enjoy from 2015 through 2018.
Alc: 14.4% €
pH: 3.68 €
TA: 0.45 g/L
Residual Sugar: 0.31 g/L