2017 MERLOT
Wine Data

Appellation:  Alexander Valley

Grape Varietal:  Merlot 100%

Alcohol:  14.0%

pH:  3.47

TA:  6.1 g/L

Size:  750ml

2017 MERLOT

Retail Price: $23.00

Merlot from the Wetzel Family Estate has a reputation for being a big, structured wine.

First produced in 1984, this has been a classically structured wine each year, often showing as much tannin as our Cabernet Sauvignon. 

2017 was a vintage of contrasts.  Our ample rainfall in January and February allayed any discussion of drought, but winter rains were followed by a warm spring and many heat spikes throughout the summer until we began picking the first lot of Merlot on September 9.  

We prune our Merlot vines heavily and drop fruit several times during the growing season so the remaining clusters ripen evenly.  Winemaker Kevin Hall has found that fermenting Merlot at a slightly lower temperature than some of our other Bordeaux varieties maintains the lush flavors and structure.   After  fermentation the lots spend 14 months aging in a combination of French and American oak  barrels.   

This wine always impresses red wine lovers, and we refer to it as a Merlot for Cabernet lovers.  There are spicy aromas of dark fruits, cassis, black/red cherry, plum, vanilla, oak and slight chocolate in the glass.  This wine has broad mouth-feel with flavors of cherry, cassis, blackberry, plum and chocolate.  This is a big, nicely balanced wine with chewy tannins on the long, structured finish.

Accolades:

2017:  91 points & Silver Medal - California State Fair Wine Competition
2016:  94 points, Best in Class & Double Gold Medal - North of the Gate Wine Competition
2016:  94 points & Gold Medal - Los Angeles International Wine Competition 
2015:  88 points - Beverage Testing Institute 
2014:  97 points & Five Stars - Beverage Dynamics / Cheers