2006 Sandstone Merlot
On the pallet, this Merlot is full-bodied, but with a smooth mid-palate that showcases aromas and flavors of blackberry and spice, accented by hints of licorice and tobacco.
Where the Arroyo Seco River leaves the Santa Lucia Mountains and meets the Salinas Valley, it has created a unique agricultural plain composed of sandstone rocks and sandy loam soils eroded from the slopes of these rugged mountains. Here, our family has three estate Merlot vineyards, where the sandstone and loam soils provide balanced nourishment, while naturally restricting vigor.
Each vineyard was harvested separately and fermented in upright fermenters. Rack and return, which is the process of draining all of the free-run juice off the cap and then returning the free-run juice back over the top of the fermenter, was performed twice daily. This method increases the color and tannin extractions and improves mouthfeel through the integration of oxygen.
Each blend was aged separately, with part in neutral French and American oak for at least six months prior to blending.