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100% Merlot (85% Estate Blocks A&B; 15% Estate Blocks C&D)
Crushed violets, fresh blackberries and currants are accompanied by subtle notes of green bell pepper and cedar on the nose. The palate has a plush mouthfeel that explodes with the flavor of blackberries, raspberries and sour cherry. Hints of black pepper complement the dark fruit and persist throughout the long finish.
Grapes for the 2016 Merlot Reserve come from all four blocks of Merlot on the Sunstone Estate, with 85% coming from blocks A & B and 15% coming from blocks C & D. All four blocks were picked during the first week of October 2016. Upon arrival at the winery, grapes were de-stemmed and lightly crushed to separate stainless steel fermentation tanks. During the three-week fermentation each lot was given 1-2 daily pumpovers then gently pressed off the skins using a “champagne-style” press cycle, which reduces the amount of astringent seed tannins that enter the finished wine. Upon settling each lot was aged for 21 months in a combination of 55% new and 45% neutral French oak barrels. In July, 2018 each barrel in the final blend was hand-selected and the wine was filtered and bottled to 488 cases.
Merlot is a versatile food wine that pairs well with many different kinds of grilled meats with sauce. Some of our favorites to pair with the 2016 Merlot Reserve include grilled barbecue pork chops, Korean barbecued short ribs, grilled lamb T-bone with peppercorn, lamb kebabs, or beef stew. Veggie burgers, and side dishes with olives and avocado are also a great match.
Bion Rice, Director of Winemaking
Matt Smith, Consulting Winemaker
Jon Flores, Production Manager
Jose Gomez, Cellar Master
Guadalupe Chavez, Assistant Cellar Master
Total Acidity (TA): 5.77 g/L