Bianchi Vineyards Signature Selection Merlot 2017
A "hot climate" merlot like ours provides a more bright, fruit forward wine with silky tannins and chocolatey flavors, whereas a cooler climate Merlot has more tannic structure and earthy flavors like tobacco and tar. It is a wine that is easy to pair with most foods.
Tangy and dark red-fruit aromas make for a pungent nose on this bottling. It’s more complex on the palate, where baked red cherry and dried earth flavors meet with herbs, vanilla dust and a compelling acidity.
Situated on a gentle rise, the new Bianchi Winery has a commanding view looking west over undulating vineyards dotted with ancient oaks. The state of the art stainless steel fermentation tanks provide the winemaker the latest computerized monitoring system and the option to make select, limited production wines. Similarly, the new barrel room for the French and American oak has the capacity to allow blending and aging of small lots. It is here at our new home in Paso Robles that the Bianchi renaissance is taking place as we expand into the super and ultra premium categories with estate grown and hand crafted wines.
With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven Central Coast wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.
Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.
This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.