The grapes of 2000 enjoyed an outstanding growing season. Very warm days and cool summer nights allowed steady flavor development and good acids in the fruit. The grape berries were smaller than normal thus creating more intense flavors. The Merlot was harvested in mid-September and early October when the grapes displayed perfect balance and sweet, ripe flavors.
Whitehall Lane traditionally makes a Merlot wine that is bigger in style than many Merlots. The fruit was picked very ripe to ensure big jammy flavors. Cabernet Sauvignon was included in the blend to add weight in the mid-palate and increase the complexity and length on the finish. Cabernet Franc enhances the spicy aromas and floral flavors. The wine was aged in a combination of American and French oak barrels for 20 months.
This Merlot has pleasing aromas of spicy cherry, plum and toasty oak. The wine is inherently soft with flavors of crushed flower petals, ripe cherry, berry and spice. It is well balanced with good weight in the mid-palate and a velvety, long finish. Enjoyable now with aging potential to 2006.
Blend: 85% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc