21 months in French and American oak barrels (25% new)
Food Pairing Notes
The luscious textures of the 2018 Merlot are an excellent match for pasta with panseared
lamb medallions, mushroom risotto, pasta ragu and steak with garlic butter.
The 2018 Merlot presents warm aromas of boysenberry, plum and toasted oak with
hints of violet and baking spice. A broad, velvety mouthfeel unfolds with flavors of
black cherry, blackberry and creamy vanilla with hints of minerality. Gravelly tannins
and fine acidity add stature to a deep, chewy finish.
The 2018 vintage comes from two Merlot blocks that exhibit their own distinct qualities,
bringing natural complexity and dimension to the finished wine. These blocks are
situated along the slopes of an uplifted ancient sea bed, where the well-drained,
calcium-rich soils are distinguished by decomposing oyster fossils. Block 15 is a newer
planting that delivers dark, velvety black fruit flavors. Meanwhile, Block 7 yields a more
nuanced character with both softness and power.
Our aim is to capture the signature velvety fruit character of Merlot while showcasing
the fine structure inherent to Margarita Vineyard. The 2018 growing season started
on a cool note after abundant March rains, helping forge a long, late harvest season.
After destemming, the lots were cold soaked for 48 hours prior to fermentation for a
gentle extraction of initial color and flavor. After fermentation and light pressing, the
lots were aged for 21 months in a combination of French (60%) and American (40%)
oak barrels, 25 percent of which featured new oak. A small lot of Petite Sirah was
incorporated into the final blend to accentuate the wine’s color and palate depth.