2011 The Nth Degree Merlot
Showing a vibrant red color, this Merlot has rich aromas and flavors of black cherry, plum and toasted oak with luscious tannins and a long berry and mocha finish.
Prime Wente estate vineyards from Livermore Valley and Arroyo Seco, Monterey are selected for The Nth Degreeprogram because of their consistent production of exceptional fruit. These elite vineyards receive the utmost care and attention. They are “ultra-farmed”; every vine receives at least fifteen passes by hand, whereby leaves, shoots and clusters are removed to ensure the grape clusters remaining at the time of harvest are of the highest quality. The water is managed so that the vines are perfectly balanced with the correct amount of growth to fully ripen the berries for the optimal level of flavor. The grapes are then hand harvested in the early morning into half ton bins and hand sorted and crushed into small stainless steel fermenters.
Fermentation took place in small one-ton open top bins and the grapes were punched down by hand twice daily, as well as small stainless steel tanks where the must was gently pumped over twice daily.
The wine was aged for 20 months in French, Eastern European, American, and neutral oak barrels.
- 90 points, Wine Enthusiast, August 2014