In the vineyard: Merlot is the first variety to be harvested from our Estate each year. For 2011, an overall cool and late year, we harvested on October 4. An important date, for t’was the day before rainfall and all amongst the vines, the ripe grapes could be diluted which would not be so fine. Rain doth encourage rot in short time, so we picked and we picked, oh t’was divine. So our mantra would be, Rot Not, Rot Not oh sweet berries sublime, unsurmounted vinous potential oh Merlot of mine...
In the winery: After a destemming and light crushing about half of these grapes went to ferment in a relatively warm, tactile tannin increasing, tank fermentation while the other half progressed to small bins for a relatively cool hand-punched-down fruit-flavor-encouraging ferment. We inoculated the latter with a combination of yeasts that develop a richer mouth-feel wine. Pre-bottling, these Bianchi Merlots saw a solid 2 years in mostly medium-plus-toast French Oak barrels to marry and mellow.
In the bottle: Our 2011 Merlot is a medium-bodied wine just a bit lighter than our 2010 Merlot. It sports nuanced flavors of mature blackberry, cranberry, cinnamon and cherry, enveloped within a supple and fine tannin mélange. Bianchi 2011 Merlot has a well-structured acid balance which will allow for 3 to 7 years bottle-aging.
We’ve enjoyed, and we encourage you to as well, Bianchi Merlot with prosciutto-wrapped, apple-glazed duck breast atop celery root puree, rather yummy.
- Varietal Composition:
- Merlot 1001%
- Paso Robles
- Residual Sugar:
- 26 months in predominantly French Oak
- Finished Alcohol:
- Bottling Date:
- February 7, 2014
- Total Production:
- 782 Cases