2012 Niccolo Coturri Sonoma Mountain Winery Merlot
Region: Sonoma Mountain < CA
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic; Goulding Clay Loam soil (gravelly clay); vineyard grows on a small lake on the border of the Sonoma Mountain AVA, which helps maintain a more moderate climate; 10 day maceration in open top fermenters, hand punch down, 1.5 years in neutral French oak; grapes are de-stemmed but not all berries are popped, resulting in about 10-20% whole berries in the fermentation; zero additives; 13.6% alcohol; 200 cases produced.
Winemaker: Niccolo Arturro Coturri
Wait another Merlot? Yes, we’re giving some love to the slightly out-of-vogue Merlot grape. Because when it’s done well, it’s fantastic! Like this one from the twenty-something Nic Coturri, who is kind of Cali wine royalty. The roots of Coturri go back to the turn of the last century, with the arrival of Enrico Coturri from Tuscany, who brought with him the culture of wine making. His grandsons Tony and Phil refined the venture and made a name for themselves as natural winemaking pioneers, and now Enrico’s great-grandson, Nic, having been the apprentice for years, is having his moment. He spun off his own label, Sonoma Mountain Winery, to make a few hundred cases of Syrah, Cab, Chardonnay and Merlot – the grapes that are meant to grow in his rocky, volcanic mountain terroir and the California climate. The wines are hand bottled and labeled, having been neither filtered nor fined. Nor do they see the addition of any sulphur. This is pure, honest mountain wine, rich and dark-fruited, complex, earthy and a touch spicy. California wine done right.