2018 Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon
Merryvale’s 2018 Calistoga Cabernet is sourced from four vineyards Amoenus, Profile Estate, Stagecoach and Farella. The fruit was hand harvested at night to retain freshness and acidity. After a 5 day cold soak in tank, the wines began native as well as commercial yeast fermentation. Two volumes of pumpovers per day, backing off at dryness, and pressing between 15-21 days on skins. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel and spent 21 months in French oak barrels. The wine was bottled without fining or filtration.
2018 was a remarkable vintage—the long growing season allowed the grapes to achieve full phenolic maturity, while the lack of extreme weather created the ideal conditions for harvesting at peak ripeness. Abundant rains early in the year were followed by lots of filtered light in spring and early summer. Both bud break and flowering occured a bit late, but under ideal weather conditions, creating plentiful and even fruit set. Summer brought generous sun during the day and cooler marine influences. The relatively mild summer followed by extended fall sunshine and moderate heat created near-ideal conditions.
The mouthfeel is opulent, yet refined, with a core of concentrated fruit that’s complemented by secondary flavors of dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and a touch of clove. The oak influence is well-integrated, contributing a touch of toasty spice without overshadowing the fruit. A touch of acidity ensures the wine’s vibrancy and promises a graceful aging potential. While approachable now, its well-defined tannins and impressive depth suggest that this wine will continue to evolve and mature gracefully over the next decade, rewarding those who choose to cellar it.