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Merlot 16

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Merlot 16
Merlot 16

2016 OBELISCO Merlot

AVA: Red Mountain

Winemakers: Ken Abbott, Betsy Long

Blend: 75% Merlot, 25% Caberbet

Vineyards: 100% Obelisco

Alcohol: 14.9% vol.

Barrels: 35% new – 100%  French

Tasting Notes: Beautiful deep red color. On the nose, the aroma is full of deep dark cherries, grapes, vanilla and berries, subtle spice and earthy tones followed by a delicate powdery scent. On the palate this wine is hits quick with big fruit press surprising for a Merlot. It is full, rich and well rounded with flavors of raspberries, dark berries, basil spice with a herbaceous roundness.  The mouth feel is strong yet lush, with full structure, with a changing finish that travels through fruit and spice flavors with nicely balanced acid and tannins.

Cellaring: Because it is made from Red Mountain Merlot and Cabernet this wine should age well for the next 10 to 12 years. Because it is Obelisco fruit it is soft and inviting now.

Production: All the fruit for this wine is from Obelisco Vineyard. The high density planting yields smaller berries, which contribute to the concentrated flavors, yet this vineyard always makes wines with luxurious tannins and mouth feel.  The aging vineyard is producing naturally tannic wines that do not need as much new oak to give it structure.

Harvest notes: 2016 was another warm year and we are getting used to it. The chemistry of the Merlot stayed stable allowing for a little extra hang time which allowed the flavors to develop a little longer .  Thankfully the cool nights that happen in September on Red Mountain slowed the sugar production down a bit and let the flavors develop just enough. The Merlot usually comes off at around the same time as the Malbec, followed later by the Cabernet.  The 2015 seemed very tannic at first but mellowed nicely in to a nice wide profile making the blending a fun exercise.  Should be a fantastic year.

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