Nice ruby red colour and intense aromas of baking spices, plum jam, and dark chocolate. The nose gives of layers of black and red fruit, chocolate covered cherries and cola. The palate is full bodied with blackberries, blueberry jam, and vanilla. Plenty of power here, with great length and persistence in the palate.
Hot and dry summer, typical of the South Okanagan, but with a cool October allowing us to pick our 7 different blocks of Merlot over an 18 day period, selecting fruit at perfect ripeness. All of our fruit comes from our Diamondback vineyard on the Black Sage Bench, in free draining sandy soils that give our Merlot plenty of power, structure and intensity, but still a suppleness that makes the wines very drinkable upon release. A very high quality vintage, there was no disease or pest pressure and we did moderate leaf thinning and green harvesting to ensure only the highest quality fruit made it into the winery.
We machine harvest our Merlot on the Black Sage bench in the early hours of the morning to ensure it arrives at the winery nice and cold. The grapes are then destemmed and partially crushed, leaving some whole berries and pumped to stainless steel tanks for fermentation. For some blocks we use special cold tolerant yeast strains and ferment the wines quite cool (~10-11C), while others we allow to ferment naturally with no added yeast. These fermentations typically are warmer and are much less vigorous, leading to a long, slow (6-8 weeks long) gentle extraction of colour, tannin and flavour. The wines are then pressed and racked to a mix of French, American and Hungarian oak barrels, for malo-lactic fermentation and aging. Maturation ranges from 14-18 months depending on how the wines are tasting, before being racked to tank, blended and finally bottled.
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