Indigo Hills Merlot 1997

Merlot from California

$15.99 $13.99
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Item No. 10382
  • red wine
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Winemaker's Notes

Sourced primarily from the Central Coast, Napa and Sonoma, our 1997 Merlot is a marriage of the best fruit from Californias cool coastal regions. The broad array of choice growing areas allow our winemakers unparalleled winestyle flexibility. Our desire to make a lush, elegant Merlot led our winemakers to select fruit from multiple wine growing appellations. The grapes for our 1997 Merlot were largely selected from vineyards in cooler growing climates such as Livermore Valley, just east of San Francisco Bay and Napa Valley. In these cool-climate areas, the grapes ripen slowly, revealing elegant varietal flavors, refreshing acidity, and ultimately produce wines with silkiness on the palate.

An unseasonably warm winter lead to an early bud-break followed by even warmer spring days. Harvest looked like it would be plentiful and occur early until chance rains in August greatly thinned the cvines. Although the resulting crop quantity was less than originally expected, the remaining grapes attained high levels of flavor concentration with an early September heat wave and following cool autumn. The resulting extended hang time further increased the flavor concentration of the grapes.

We harvested in the early morning hours to retain acidity levels and to ensure that the fruit remained cool when it arrived in our Winery. This minimizes bitter tannin extraction, which can make a finished wine harsh, while preserving the aromatic flavors and rich fruit character of the grapes. Further bitter tannins were reduced by destemming prior to fermentation, and retaining significant quantities of whole berries. This minimizes excess skin and seed contact and alleviates a "green and stemmy" taste. The resulting juice and mist were transferred to stainless steel tanks for fermentation, where we kept temperatures slightly warmer at 85o to develop full, lush fruit flavors.

After fermentation was completed, the wine was put through malolactic fermentation to develop smoothness by softening the acidity. The final blend was then racked into predominantly small American oak barrels deepening the cedar and toasty flavors of the finished wine. During the elevage period (or aging time in barrel) over the next eight to twelve months, the wine was racked every four to six months. The wine was then filtered and bottled in June, 1999.

Learn About Indigo Hills

Indigo Hills wines come from various coastal growing regions, including North Coast (consisting of Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa, Lake, and Marin Counties), the Central Coast, Napa and Sonoma, all of which have warm daytime temperatures and cool nights. The broad array of choice growing areas presents the winemaker with unparalleled winestyle flexibility. An elegant, refined wine from the coast. A perfect wine for dining and relaxing from the hurried world with the important people in your life.

Learn About Other California

California has nearly 100 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) and accounts for almost 90% of wine production in the United States. In our section of Other California, we include wines from smaller AVAs as well as wines from the California AVA. Here are a few smaller AVAs you may see on the label: Livermore Valley AVA, located right outside of San Francisco and home to...

Read More About Other California

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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