2008 Estate Merlot, Hawley Vineyard
The 2008 vintage was a hot one. Soaring temperatures in August and September caused sugar levels to climb and wineries to scramble to get everything picked at once. The warmer temperatures also helped develop ripe fruit flavors and soften the tannin and acidity in the grapes. Our organic hillside vineyards lend themselves to making big, full-bodied wines. At the top of our vineyard, you can see from one end of the valley to the other. Merlot vines are a vigorous variety, and given abundant water and nutrients they will produce excessive crop and foliage– exactly the opposite of what we want to make quality wine. By planting the vines in rocky hillside ground, we force the vines to toil and produce smaller crops and berries. The small berries give us intense flavor with concentrated tannins and acidity, perfect for aging. The thinner leaf growth allows for more sun exposure to develop ripe flavor and darker color. The 2008 shows off a great vintage as well as what distinguishes mountain grown fruit. Aromas and flavors of black cherry, blackberry, and plum fill the glass; with notes of coffee, cedar, and vanilla oak- from 30 months aging in 40% new French oak barrels. This wine is will benefit from at least three years of additional cellaring. Drink within 10 years.