2010 Spring Mountain Merlot
Spring Mountain District
Harvest Date: October 21st, 26th, 2010
Grape Source: Spring Mountain District
Blend: 87% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc
Aging: 22 months in French Oak Barrels
60% new and 40% once used
Total Production: 355 Cases
Release Date: September 2012
Winemaker: David Tate
Vintage Notes: Sourced from neighboring vineyards, our Spring Mountain Merlot captures the essence of mountain fruit. Growing on the slopes and low fertile soils cause low yields during a normal year, but after showers during spring flowering and cool weather throughout the summer the resulting yields were some of the smallest ever seen on Spring Mountain. A few days of over 100º F in summer forced us to walk the vineyard and surgically remove any signs of sun damage. The Cabernet Franc was last to ripen this year and was added for structure, spice and dark fruit aromatics.
Winemaker Notes: The bulk of this Merlot came from higher elevations on Spring Mountain. Slower to ripen over the long autumn we did achieve perfect ripeness in the late October. An average of 2-3 days of cold soaking aided in color and complex flavor extraction. Maceration and pumping over times were short, since color and tannins extraction was quick and caution was used to ensure the wine did not become overly harsh. This wine was aged for 22 months in small French oak barrels (approximately 60%) to allow the wine to soften and develop.
Tasting Notes: With a deep purple core the 2010 Merlot is deceptively bright in its youth. Fragrant raspberry and soft white pepper spice are balanced with sweet vanilla and deep fennel. After a few swirls of the glass black cherry and blueberry tart aromas emerge with some subtle gravel minerality. This year the mouthfeel is silky and lush with more of the same range of fruit as the nose, but with a larger degree of minerality. The tannins are moderately chalky without being overbearing. The wine finishes with dark cocoa and riper raspberry. This wonderful wine will age beautifully over the next 7-8 years (2019-2020).