100% Merlot, Sunstone Estate Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley
Crushed violets, ripe plum, and blackberry preserves are accented by black pepper, fresh herbs, and a plush mouthfeel with dark chocolate-covered blueberry notes and a long, lingering finished.
The 2015 Merlot Reserve is a blend of Merlot grapes sourced from every block of the Sunstone Estate. Each site provides subtle nuances that together produce a complexity and balance. Each lot was hand-picked and delivered to the winery where they were destemmed and gently crushed into stainless steel fermentation tanks. A combination of commercial yeast inoculation and native fermentation methods were used in the fermentation process. Post fermentation the lots were aged in 100% neutral French oak barrels for 22 months where they were monitored on a monthly basis to ensure optimal aging. In august 2017, the separate lots were blended to taste and bottled to 334 cases.
Merlot has the ability to pair with hearty dishes of pappardelle with braised short rib ragu, or a grilled hanger steak with bleu cheese butter. A classic shepherd’s pie is also a beautiful partner for our Merlot Reserve!
This Merlot Reserve is delicious now, if allowed to breathe for 30-45 minutes, but will gracefully mature with proper cellaring over the next 5 years. We recommend opening through 2020.
Bion Rice, Director of Winemaking
Jose Gomez, Cellar Master
Jon Flores, Production Manager
TA: 5.78 g/L
Residual Sugar: .4%