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2004 Sonoma Valley Merlot
from Paint Horse Winery
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The wine has lush fruit reminiscent of blackberry cobbler. There are hints of spice (cloves and allspice) plus nuances of toasty oak and vanilla. The mouth the wine is full bodied with flavors of ripe berries and soft, supple fine grained tannins. The finish is long and lingering making it a pleasure to drink now or after some cellar aging.
- 95% Merlot
- 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 750 ml (Standard Bottle): 280
Record breaking warm weather in March got the growing season to an early start, nearly three weeks ahead of a normal year. Early April brought cool weather and drizzle then another recording breaking heat spell in late April. The vines were in full bloom at this point and the heat combined with low cluster counts (as the result of cool spring temperatures in 2003) meant that the harvest size in 2004 was destined to be small. May and June brought more warm weather although July was cooler than normal with lots of fog. There was another warm spell in late August and early September then the weather settled into a typical fall pattern of warm days and cool nights. This mild finish to harvest allowed our Merlot develop good flavor concentration and ripe, supple tannins.
Winemaking for these wines combines the best of traditional Bordeaux winemaking and new, modern techniques. The grapes were hand harvested then carefully sorted prior to crushing and destemming. After a cold soaking period the must was fermented with Bordeaux yeast and traditional Bordeaux style screened pump-overs. At the completion of fermentation the wine continued to rest on the skins for an extended maceration to develop richness and complexity. The wine was gently pressed and placed in barrel for malolactic fermentation. The barrels selected were 100% French Oak, 50% were new. The barrels used were all produced by fine Bordeaux coopers that use tight grained, well seasoned oak to handcraft their barrels. The wine was racked several times during aging to develop flavors and integrate tannins.
- % New Oak: 50.0%
- Kind Red
- Type Merlot
- Appellation Sonoma Valley
- Cases Produced 280
- Volume 750mL