St. Francis Reserve Merlot 1996

Merlot from Sonoma County, California

$45.49
Item No. 7678
  • red wine
Ratings Pedigree:

Winemaker's Notes

St. Francis' Merlot Reserve is produced and grown exclusively from a 20 acre parcel situated in the heart of the estate vineyard in Sonoma Valley. The soil formation is distinctive, well-drained with rock, gravel and loam topsoils which yield small quantities of grapes per vine and an excellent concentration of fruit. The vineyard's cool microclimate is moderated by breezes from the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay and characterized by the morning and evening fogs. These cool night temperatures are critical to the development of complex fruit of superior quality. Vines are drip irrigated and canopies thinned by removing leaves from the vines to increase exposure to the sun, concentrating color and flavor. Harvest customarily occurs between mid-September and the end of October.

The fruit is harvested by hand and crushed into temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Fermentation takes place in 8 to 15 days. The different lots are racked into new and one year old French and American oak barrels, and remain separate during the 24-30 month aging period. The blend is then assembled. Bottling takes place without fining or filtration and the wine is held nine to ten months prior to release.

Learn About St. Francis Map ItMap It

For more than four decades, the wines of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards have reflected the finest mountain and valley vineyards in Sonoma County. Our founder, Joe Martin, fell in love with Sonoma Valley and established St. Francis Vineyard in 1971, planting 22 acres of Chardonnay and the first 60 acres of Merlot in Sonoma Valley. After achieving great success as a grower, Joe...

Read More About St. Francis

Learn About Sonoma County

Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the...

Read More About Sonoma County

Learn About Merlot

Merlot(mehr-LOW) No second fiddle Merlot is coming back into its own. High popularity led to mass production, which then led to a backlash towards the variety (remember Miles in Sideways?). But passionate Merlot producers, and of course the right bank of Bordeaux, continued to produce quality versions of this grape. Merlot remains the principle grape of top chateaux in St...

Read More About Merlot

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