This Merlot is grown at Winesap Vineyards, which is located in The Rocks District AVA. Merlot down in the Rocks has tremendous potential. Just the right amount of heat to ripen properly, which a touch of earthiness and minerailty.
Winesap Vineyard with grass cover crop
We harvested our lot of fruit on 10/23. This is when the chemistry looked the best and also had physiological ripeness at its peak. With the extremely high pH of merlot from The Rocks I wanted to allow this fruit to get a little more ripe with more potential ending ABV (Learn more from our Winemaking Videos).
Brix 25 - pH 3.95 - TA 4.5 g/L
After the fruit was harvested, it was de-stemmed (but not crushed). It went on to cold soak for 24 hours before inoculation of BM 45 yeast strain. The cap was punched down 3 times per day to break up skins and to gain maximum extraction.
Rich Funk, Owner and Winemaker fromSaviah Cellars, allowed me to purchase a ton of his premium Syrah from his Funk Vineyard, which is located inThe Rocks. Rich makes a wine from this vineyard and it is so sought after it has a 2 year waitlist. We would call this ultra premium fruit.
Funk Vineyard with GDC Trelising
We harvested our ton of fruit on 9/25/19. This is when the chemistry looked the best and also had physiological ripeness at its peak
Brix 24.8 - pH 3.89 - TA 4.5 g/L
As a winemaker, when you have premium fruit, from one of the best vineyards, your job is to get out of the way.
We used 25% whole cluster for stem inclusion. We punched down the cap three times per day, while also mixing in pulse air as a midday cap management technique. The wine was pressed when tannin structure was perfect and put into neutral french barrels.