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2020 Glassmaker Cole Ranch Merlot

2020 Glassmaker Cole Ranch Merlot

Region: Cole Ranch AVA < Anderson Valley < California

Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; alluvial soils; de-stemmed,
pressed and aged 13 months in puncheon; bottled unfined/unfiltered
with <20ppm added So2; 13% ABV

Winemaker: Jonathon Walton

We first met Jon when he hand delivered some Subject to Change wine to
us -- he's the assistant winemaker to Alex at the STC winery in the
Richmond Marina.  He also has a wine label of his own, Glassmaker,
which love and have worked with as well.  So we were STOKED when he
agreed to make a wine just for Rock Juice!  It's 100% Merlot that will
change whatever perception you have about Merlot -- no green vegetal
character, not fat, flabby or boring, just fresh, delicious, inky
juice bursting with black fruit and flowers that can flow from fancy
dinner table to chillable red in a tumbler with ease.  The pristine
fruit comes from the Cole Ranch AVA in Mendocino County's Anderson
Valley, a super special cool climate site that happens to be the
nation's smallest AVA (the viticulture appellation, similar to DOC or
AOC in Europe) and a monopole, meaning that the vineyard is the AVA
(generally an AVA is comprised of many vineyards).  Cole Ranch is such
a unique place, with vines planted on steep mountain slopes,
surrounded by redwoods, in close proximity to the Mendocino Coast, and
bathed in fog, that it is literally in a class by itself.

Jonathan tells the story of how this wine came to be: "I would text
the vineyard owner every week or so through September to see how these
grapes were faring, and every time he’d say, they’re still around 17
brix… as harvest drew to a close, I grew nervous that they wouldn't
ripen, but eventually around the end of October the grapes made it up
to a minimum balanced ripeness and we picked, destemmed and gave them
a very gentle ferment that was pumped over and sometimes punched down.
With Merlot, I like to keep my fermentations low to preserve the
flower aromas. It came in a little sweet at 1 brix, which resolved
during the 13 months in barrel, and man, this wine is so pretty!
Flowers, roses, cherries, bois. It speaks to the coastal mountain
terroir of alluvial soils, cold nights and redwoods. I’ve found that
the most compelling Merlot from California develops high up and closer
to the ocean than you might think, whether that is Montebello (Perone)
in the Santa Cruz mountains, the Sonoma Coast ranges or here in
Mendocino….while technically not a coastal site, this vineyard does
benefit from a complex interplay of cool air,  squarely placing it
under the coastal mountain influence. This unique aspect and air flow
are what earned Cole Ranch the designation of smallest AVA in the

Jonathan suggests pairing this Merlot with pepperoni pizza, meaty red
sauce, or roasted mushrooms.   All excellent ideas, to which we would
add tacos.  Tacos + Merlot = heaven!
Regular price $27.00
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