From a steep, hillside vineyard on the slopes of volcanic Sonoma Mountain (Sonoma Mountain AVA overlaps Bennett Valley and this vineyard straddles the two), this Right-Bank style Merlot is rich and powerful with intense fruit and fantastic structure. This is the best Merlot I have had in years and one of the better examples in the state. Damn...makes me want to run out to Bennett Valley and plant a vineyard of tightly-spaced Merlot (Syrah too - seeing some nice ones from here as well).
Dark and concentrated in the glass with ripe black raspberry, cassis and bergamot aromas haloed with bay leaf and dark chocolate. Smooth on entry with raspberry puree and plum beautifully uplifted with perfectly integrated oak. There is terrific concentration and structure on the palate with the acidity providing nice tension. Great Merlot!
Check-in tasting 6.23.21 - Same producer as N.33. This is from their estate vineyard in Bennett Valley, the home of Matanzas Creek Merlot. If you liked that wine back when Dave Ramey was at the helm, you'll love this. It is the outlier in terms of alc (14.8%), and bit brawnier and richer than the other selections; however, its delivers fantastic mouthfeel along with an elegant structure such that you would never guess the alc.
30% new French oak
400 cases produced
Bottled August 10th, 2020