Properties: Bales Creek Vineyard
Appellation: Spring Mountain District
Clonal Selections: 181 merlot
Yield: 2 tons per acre
The year began with abundant rainfall. Spring weather was mild, resulting in extended flowering in some areas with little shatter. Vines were vigorous thanks to the winter rains. A freak hailstorm passed through quickly in June causing isolated damage. Three heat events, including one over Labor Day weekend, kicked harvest into high gear, dehydrating some grapes by early September. Cool weather arrived immediately afterward, allowing sugar levels to return to normal. Most late-ripening red grapes continued to hang on the vine and were picked over the next few weeks..
Harvest Date: October 11, 2017
Harvest Brix: 26.7
Hand-harvested, picked at night
Gently de-stemmed and whole berries transferred to stainless steel
Cold soaked for 48 hours
Inoculated with D21 yeast and fermented for 14 days on the skins
Free run juice drained from tank, settled for 24 hours then racked to barrel
Aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, 66% new
Bottled June 2019
Composition- 100% Merlot
§ The 2017 Merlot opens with boysenberry, pomegranate, and red cherry aromas layered with violets, allspice, clove and anise supported by a distinct minerality. Fresh and bright on the palate, the sweet fruit broadens on the palate with tannins candied on the edges finishing with the signature Spring Mountain cocoa powder tannins. Drink now or cellar for 5-7 years.