Merlot, Airfield Estates
To begin 2017, Eastern Washington was in the midst of a brutal winter that lingered on into early March. Their concerns of winter damage to the vines were alleviated towards the end of April when the vineyards came back to life with bud break. Bud break was a bit behind a normal Washington vintage, but not by much. Spring of 2017 was warm, and this led to rapid growth in the vineyards. The spring led into a perfect Eastern Washington summer with warm days and cool nights that we are keen on for a great growing season. Veraison happened around the first of August, and with all the last-minute adjustments to crop size everyone was very pleased. Wildfires were a great deal of concern for too, but as damaging as these fires were, thankfully their estate vineyard was not impacted by the excessive smoke experienced in the state. Very similar to the 2016 vintage, they had a much cooler than average September that slowed the ripening process down quite a bit. This allowed the grapes to hang on the vines much longer to achieve optimal ripeness for flavor development and sugar content. This meant a later harvest season as they brought in the last of their grapes in early November. This Merlot is 100% estate grown and delivers an inviting bouquet of black cherry, vanilla, clove, and nutmeg leading to a round mouthfeel and lingering tannins on the finish. Only 517 cases produced, consumable now through 2032.