2011 Sandstone Merlot
Our Sandstone Merlot is a great display of grapes coming from many hillside and valley floor vineyards, each of which give distinct aromatics and structure to the wine. The estate grown vineyards that make up this wine are fermented and aged separately in barrel for about a year before they are blended together. We add Petite Sirah and Petite Verdot to the blend which then ages for another 6 months. Although lighter in structure than a Cabernet Sauvignon, this Merlot combines solid, yet silky tannins with diverse fruit flavors to make a lasting impression.
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Since 1883, five generations of our family have handcrafted fine wines that express the very best of our vineyards and winemaking expertise. Our Estate Grown Sandstone Merlot come from a gently sloping formation of hills running along the southeastern corner of the historic Livermore Valley. With warm days, cool nights, well-drained sandstone soils, and incoming breezes from the San Francisco Bay, the Wente family’s hillside vineyard is an ideal place to grow outstanding Merlot.
Each vineyard was harvested and fermented separately in upright stainless steel 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.
This wine was aged for 16months in American, French, Eastern European, and neutral oak.
- 87 points, Wine Enthusiast, May 2014
- Best of Class of Region, California State Fair Wine Competition, June 2014
- Silver, San Francisco International Wine Competition, July 2014
- Silver, Alameda County Wine Competition, May 2014
- Silver, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, January 2014