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Grown in loam, clay, and volcanic soil mixed with gravel, the 100% Merlot grapes in this wine are particularly intense. All come from Sonoma County, and most from one of St. Francis' three estate vineyards in the Sonoma Valley, with micro-climates ranging from the hillsides of the Mayacamas Mountains to the cooler valley floor. The grapes are harvested by hand and crushed into stainless-steel tanks for fermentation; the wine is then aged in American and French oak barrels for a full eighteen months. Bottled without filtration, it is held an additional eight months before release. A varietal classic with distinctive Sonoma County style, it has strong black fruit, spicy herb, and vanilla overtones, which give way to full fruit on the palate, nuanced with chocolate. Its round, generous tannins give it a big finish.
A wine with exceptional Sonoma fruit and softer tannins, this Merlot marries well with fish prepared with garlic and herbs and other robust flavors.
St. Francis Vineyards & Winery, located in the heart of Sonoma County, produces big, bold, full-bodied wines that over deliver on flavor. Each wine is made from 100% hand-picked, Sonoma County fruit and are direct expressions of winemaker Tom Mackey, whose philosophy calls for "maximum extraction, minimal interaction."
St. Francis achieves critical acclaim from the wine media who refers to it as The House of Big Reds. Among its many accolades, St. Francis was recently named International Red Wine Maker of The Year by the London International Wine Challenge.
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
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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