The 1998 vintage was a very late vintage, which allowed the grapes considerable "hang-time." All of the grapes for the wine were organically grown as is the case with all Bonterra wines. The grapes developed soft, ripe tannins and good intensity. Certain lots had long maceration times on the skins after fermentation. Some barrel-to-barrel racking was utilized during barrel aging to soften tannins. The wine was egg white-fined before bottling.
Dark red-purple color. The nose explodes with rich cherry and currant aromas with hints of cola, berry, oak-spice, and vanilla. In the mouth, balance and softness are apparent, yet with ripe tannins, rich cherry and currant flavors highlighted by a gentle top note of sweet oak-spice from barrel aging that carries through the velvety finish.
The 1998 Bonterra Merlot provides a versatile wine for the table, pairing well with grilled salmon and ahi, mushroom pasta, and roast meats and poultry.