The 2006 growing season got off to a late, wet start on Rhinefarm, with budbreak beginning at the end of March and generous rainfall late into the spring. High soil moisture going into the growth period allowed the vines to develop large canopies that required vigilant taming to maintain ideal fruit-to-canopy ratios. A record-breaking heat wave in July helped put an end to vegetative growth and spurred the vines onto the business of ripening fruit. The harvest period was nearly perfect, and so in the end the fruit attained excellent phenolic maturity as well as nicely developed varietal characters.
A layered, brooding, complex wine with aromas of deep red cherry, strawberry, dried tobacco leaf and lavender. Enters soft, with black plum flavors that deepen into dark coffee, cocoa, smoke and earth and a smooth, velvet texture. Notes of minerality, dried sage and bright cherry return at the finish. Delicious upon release, this Merlot will benefit from five years of cellaring from vintage and continue to age gracefully for 10 to 12 years.