Our first Merlot grapes of 2012: taking a trip down memory lane

by on September 25, 2012

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The first of the 2012 red grapes arrived to the winery this morning in the form of 36 tons of Mazzoni Merlot. Our winemaker, Rob Davis, has been working with grape grower Mike Mazzoni since 1994, and in fact, fruit from Mazzoni Vineyards was the first fruit source outside of the Jordan Estate to go into the Jordan Cabernet master blend.

These vines are rooted on the benchlands east of Geyserville where the soil profiles change to a dark, gravelly, sandy loam, balanced in nutrients and organic matter–making them well-drained and perfect for growing beautiful, balanced fruit. These are the soils Rob likes to describe as, “pure gravy.” On the sorting table, the fruit was pristine, as only one would expect from grapes being carried on a freshly washed and waxed blue 1969 Peterbilt with shiny rims and glossy black tires. Definitely the sharpest truck in the business (as seen behind me in this video on the Jordan crushpad).

The earliest maturing of the red Bordeaux varieties, Merlot–particularly from the benchlands of the Alexander Valley appellation–makes for an ideal blending component of our Cabernet Sauvignon, bringing a soft and round texture to the mouthfeel with a lush and plummy fruit character.

We were teased last week with a just a load and a half of Chardonnay grapes on September 18, but the harvest is definitely in full swing now after a weekend of warm temperatures.

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