Merlot from the Wetzel Family Estate has a reputation for being a big, structured wine.
Merlot from Alexander Valley Vineyards is sometimes overlooked due to the success of our world class Cabernet Sauvignon. However, visitors to the winery quickly realize that our Merlot is equally stunning. First produced in 1984, this is a rich, concentrated red wine. Some call it a Merlot for Cab drinkers, we call it a Merlot for serious Merlot lovers.
While the weather was a bit cooler than usual early in the 2019 growing season, there were no unusual temperature swings during bud break or flowering. Moderate temperatures continued through the summer, allowing the grapes to mature gradually. After 2018’s record setting crop size, 2019 swung back to an average yield. At harvest, the quality of the fruit was excellent with high acidity and intense flavors.
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 aged for 12 months in French and American oak barrels.
This wine impresses red wine lovers immediately with spicy aromas of cassis, black cherry, plum, vanilla, oak and slight chocolate in the glass. Our Merlot is full bodied with big flavors of blackberry, plum, cassis and juicy red cherry. The layered flavors are well balanced with a long, textured finish.
2019: 93 points & Gold Medal - BTI
2019: 91 points - James Suckling
2019: Gold Medal & Reserve Class Champion - HLSR International Wine Competition
2019: Double Gold Medal - Hilton Head Island International Wine Competition
2019: Gold Medal - San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo International Wine Competition
2019: 89 points - Wine Spectator