2016 Sebastiani Merlot, Alexander Valley
92 Points - Robert Parker
Gold Medal Winner - Sonoma County Harvest Fair
Deep purple in the glass, our 2016 Alexander Valley Merlot displays aromas of red currant, plum, peppery spice, and cedar. On the palate, fruit expressions of juicy raspberry and cherry are met with earthy notes of forest floor and dried herbs. A wine of intense concentration, it is approachable now but will continue to develop and improve over the next few years.
13 months in 26% new French oak
After a three-day cold soak, we crushed and fermented the grapes in stainless steel tanks. After pressing, each lot was blended or egg-white fined depending on flavor, color, and tannin concentraion. The wine was aged for 13 months in new and one-year-old French oak barrels.
2016 produced exceptional quality fruit in Alexander Valley. Warm temperatures in late winter and early spring pushed bud break ahead of schedule. A little unsettled weather during berry set led to some reduced yields, but overall we came in at the low end of average. The summer months were moderately warm with few heat spikes. Overall, the mild season gave us wines of ample ripeness and great complexity.