2011 Sebastiani Merlot, Sonoma County
Our 2011 Alexander Valley Merlot is a deep, dark crimson color. Its aromas display distinctive herbal tea-like qualities mingled with the ripe Alexander Valley fruit of cherry liquor, black cherry, and oak. The palate is fruit forward with seductive black cherry fruit and a medium body. It has a long finish of tea and dried herbs coupled with soft Merlot tannins. This is a very elegant, drinkable style of Merlot that is reminiscent of the cooler vintage and displays some Right Bank Bordeaux personality. ~ Mark R. Lyon, Winemaker
75.6% Merlot, 15.3% Petit Verdot, 8.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, .3% Mixed Reds
12 months in Saury French oak (40% new, 40% one year) and Hungarian oak barrels (one year)
The 2011 vintage was a cool one. A late start to the season was followed by low temperatures throughout the year. A delayed set and mid-June rains ensured low crop levels for most varieties. The cool weather and low yields worked well for Merlot which we picked on September 29th. The subsequent rain storms that hit Northern California had little impact on our vineyards and we were able to harvest the remainder of our fruit by the end of October. After a three-day cold soak, we crushed and fermented the grapes at relatively warm temperatures in stainless steel tanks. After pressing, each lot was blended or egg-white fined depending on flavor, color and tannin concentration. The wine was aged for 12 months in new and one-year-old French and Hungarian oak barrels.
The Alexander Valley is located north of the town of Healdsburg in Sonoma County. It is one of the warmer AVAs in the region and is a perfect spot for growing red Bordeaux varietals. Most of the fruit for our 2011 Merlot (75.5%) comes from the Lyon Vineyard in Cloverdale. It also includes Petit Verdot (15.3%) from the Rancho Miguel Vineyard in Geyserville, and Cabernet fruit from the Mountain Terraces and Old Vine Cherryblock Vineyard in Sonoma Valley. Both the Merlot and Petit Verdot fruits are from well drained, alluvial soils located next to the Russian River in the northern Alexander Valley. This enables the fruit to fully ripen prior to the October rains.
840 cases produced