The Merlot Estate is a special selection of 100% Merlot from the Monte Bello vineyard and is a 'second' wine as these grapes don't usually make it into the Monte Bello. It was aged for 18 months in 100% new American oak. 'I wanted to bottle this wine with supple tannins, finesse and early drinkability,' Eric Baugher says. It comes from a single parcel down in the fog where the nights are extremely cool, giving Merlot with good tannic structure and acid backbone. The 2016 Merlot Estate Monte Bello Vineyard is medium ruby with a nose of chocolate box, cedar and toasted coconut with warm black plum, redcurrant, chocolate-covered cherries, dried herbs and blackcurrant bud plus a strong mineral vein of graphite, pipe tobacco and iron. Medium to full-bodied, it’s rounded and silky in the mouth, still with a firm frame of chalky-textured tannins, great freshness and a long finish. (EB)
The 2016 Merlot Estate is a gorgeous, classically-built wine that captures so much of what makes Ridge so unique. Savory herb, leather, tobacco, spice and menthol add intrigue to this mid-weight, understated yet beautifully persistent Merlot. Hints of sage, sweet tobacco, leather and mint give the Merlot a distinctive savory feel. The 2016 is a bit a austere in the early going, but time in bottle will help. (AG)
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