2011 Merlot

Cerqueira Vineyard

Okanagan Valley VQA

 

Tasting Notes

This is a big wine in every way. Intense, concentrated aromas of blackberries, cherries, and toffee. The wine is very full bodied with aggressive tannins. Mixed grill or steak of any type will pair well with this wine.

Harvest/Vinification

The late vintage of 2011 required a very low crop level, resulting in very intense, bright, ripe fruit. Clusters were destemmed and crushed to small open top fermenters whose caps were punched down two to three times per day over a 24 day maceration time. Each wine was basket pressed directly to barrels where malolactic ferment was completed. No rackings were done on the barrels, only the final blending racking immediately prior to bottling in May 2013.

Vineyard Notes

On the lower side of Black Sage Road between Oliver and Osoyoos, this vineyard has a gentle West facing slope. The soils are a heavy, slightly sandy loam with calcium carbonate covered granite cobbles throughout a deep profile. With the rough surface of the calcium carbonate, vine roots seek out these rocks for the small amount of water to be found on this surface. It is controversial to say that these vines are “feeding” off these minerals, but that’s exactly what we believe is happening and it shows in the wines.

Vintage Notes

2011 was a cooler year, but several key factors led to very good vintage. The lack of precipitation in June and July allowed for extended flowering and an even fruit set. Also, while the temperatures in July were 0.8ºC cooler than normal for the Okanagan, this equated to highs of mid 30’s as opposed to being in the 40’s, which the vines do not like. The harvest was delayed by nearly two weeks, but in the end the most notable feature of the 2011 vintage is the sugar and acid balance in the wines. Natural acidity was very good, while the average sugar was about 1.2 brix lower than average, leading to very elegant and balanced wines, especially in the reds.