Merlot from the Wetzel Family Estate in the heart of Alexander Valley is nothing short of magnificent. Among those in the know, Merlot from the venerable Wetzel Family Vineyard is sought after for its surprisingly robust and bold characteristics, highlighted by undeniable elegance on the palate. This thrilling five-case lot, crafted from a single barrel by Winemaker Kevin Hall, exemplifies those powerhouse qualities.
But what accounts for Merlot of such singular intensity? These 20-year-old vines are put through their paces on a rocky hillside, resulting in small, mighty berries with deeply concentrated flavors. Vintage 2016 was an excellent growing season with no punishing heat spikes and slightly lower yields than normal, giving the fruit exceptional richness.
After harvest, Hall de-stemmed the fruit for a partial whole berry fermentation in small tanks. From his unmatched experience in dealing with fruit from this vineyard, he has learned that fermenting Merlot at a slightly cooler temperature than some of Wetzel Family Estate’s other Bordeaux grapes maintains the lush flavors and structure. Pumpovers occurred twice daily and once the wine was pressed off it was allowed to settle out before being barreled down and aged in a single Giraud French oak barrel. Eighteen months of aging guarantees that fine silky tannins will be fully integrated into the finished wine.
This never before, never again creation of Alexander Valley Merlot is complex with red and black fruits, a round mouthfeel and a long, structured finish. It is destined to impress any wine connoisseur who has a passion for extraordinary Merlot.
A winemaker dinner or store visit is offered as part of this lot. Must be scheduled on a mutually agreeable date and booked within a year of receipt.