St. Francis Winery Merlot 2009
Grown in loam, clay, and volcanic soil mixed with gravel, the 100% Sonoma County grapes in this wine are particularly intense. Grapes are hand-picked at the peak of ripeness, the majority from St. Francis' three estate vineyards in the Sonoma Valley, with micro-climates ranging from the hillsides of the Mayacamas Mountains to the cooler Sonoma Valley floor. The grapes are harvested by hand and crushed into stainless steel tanks for fermentation. The wine is then aged in American and French oak barrels for a full eighteen months. Once the wine is blended and bottled it is allowed to rest for an additional eight months before release. A varietals classic with distinctive Sonoma County style, it has spicy herb and vanilla overtones, which give way to full strong black fruit on the palate, nuanced with chocolate. Its round, generous tannins give it a big finish.