Red Wines    Merlot    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 10/31/2014
St. Francis Merlot 1999
St. Francis Merlot 1999
(search item no. 42435)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 86 points
PRICE ON 10/31/2014: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 86 points
1996 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

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.

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.