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.