Red Wines    Merlot    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 10/20/2014
St. Francis Merlot 1998
St. Francis Merlot 1998
(search item no. 22377)
Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 86 points
PRICE ON 10/20/2014: $25.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 86 points
1996 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Merlot grapes of St. Francis primarily come from its three estate vineyards located in the heart of Sonoma Valley. The soils of these vineyards vary from a mixture of loams, clays, volcanics intermingled with rock and heavy gravel. This type of soil and rock mixture promotes a very intense grape. The microclimates are different, varying from hillside slopes in the nearby Mayacama Mountains to the moderated cooler climate of the valley floor.

The grapes are hand-harvested and crushed into temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. After fermentation is completed the different lots are pressed and racked into French and American oak barrels to complete the aging process. The wine is then bottled without filtration and held for eight months prior to release.

St. Francis winemaker Tom Mackey says, "My interpretation of this varietal is a full and intense expression of the grape in a distinctive Sonoma style. The perfumed aromas of plummy black fruit, spicy herb and vanilla nuances are confirmed in the ripe lush flavors. On the palate, the fruit is rich and full with hints of chocolate, set in a structure of generous, round tannins which are carried into persistent, mouthfilling finish.

My Notes:

Additional wines from St. Francis Winery:

About St. Francis Winery:

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 opened his own winery in 1979 with his business partner Lloyd Canton.

Today, a new generation of winemakers, Katie Madigan and Chris Louton, continues our long tradition of luscious, elegant, fruit-driven wines from Sonoma County grapes. We farm more than 400 acres of Certified Sustainable estate vineyards in Sonoma Valley and Russian River Valley, each with varying compositions of loam, clay and volcanic soils. We also nurture long-term relationships with top Sonoma County grape growers, giving the Winery access to some of the region's most coveted old vines Zinfandel and other varietals from acclaimed vineyards.