We took great care in extracting as much flavor as possible through a 5 day pre-fermentation cold soak, then leaving the grapes on their skins for 10 days to maximize color and intensity. After fermentation, our Merlot was aged in a combination of French and American oak for up to 12 months, giving the wine spicy oak flavors. A splash of Petite Syrah adds a bit of structure to the wine, complementing the silky-smooth nature of Merlot.
For sure this wine has flash, but don't worry, there's plenty of substance to go around! This wine has generous black plum and raspberry flavors, balanced with toasty oak. Rich and smooth, it may be the perfect wine to enjoy with grilled Aussie lamb right off the grill.
“Twin Fin is all about fun: relaxed, and always comfortable,” says Sam. “Good wine is like those experiences that become memories, where the horizon signifies not an end, but a beginning—of the next wave, the next adventure, the next possibility. It’s where quality and personality, character and substance all meet in one bottle.”
Hugh and Sam are not what you’d expect from winemakers; these guys are better. While they both have impressive backgrounds – Hugh graduated from Australia’s top winemaking school and Sam has worked with wineries in all of the major wine regions of Australia – they also know how to have a good time. They really live in the spirit of the wine they create: people that work hard and play hard.
“We get the grapes from select vineyards along California’s Central Coast,” says Sam. “That gives us great wine quality, and a chance to travel to all the places we love to visit.” This winemaking duo makes six wines: Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir. The wines are fresh and fruit-driven and offer tremendous quality for the price—just right for everything from beach barbecues to dinner with the in-laws. “The perfect night, the perfect friends and the perfect wine—it’s that easy with Twin Fin,” says Hugh.
Today the fourth most widely planted red variety in the state, Merlot has much to offer. While it bears similarities to Cabernet Sauvignon (its half-sibling), it tends to be lower in both acidity and tannins, giving Merlot wines a mouthfeel that is often perceived as soft, round and plush. These qualities make it an ideal blending partner for Cabernet, the two complementing each other throughout.
Merlot arrived relatively late to the California wine scene. It wasn’t until the 1970’s when producers like Louis Martini, Sterling and Matanzas Creek—influenced by European Merlot blends—began crafting single varietal versions. These trend-setting bottles opened the eyes of others in the California wine scene and spurred increased plantings. From there, the variety’s lush drinkability led to a surge in popularity, then overplanting (some of it on unsuitable sites) and finally a backlash that was turbo-charged by the infamous 2004 film, Sideways. What most viewers didn't realize was that, as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot with Cabernet Franc.
Fine examples of California Merlot—either as a single varietal wine or as part of a blend—can be found from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, the Central Coast and most regions around the state. Merlot wines offer a ripe, sensual mouthful of plummy fruit, suggestions of mint, herbs and vanilla, all carried along by an approachable structure and often, a great potential for improving with age.