2013 MerlotThe Matthews Merlot presents with smoky blue and black fruit—plum, blackberry, blueberry—with a resinous, almost leathery undertone. We love to bring out the darker, more brooding side of Merlot, and balance it with the touch of graphite, chocolate and green aromatics from the Cab Franc. This wine has understated tannins and a silky, sensuous texture. It’s too easy to drink, but impossible not to think about. We set out to create a wine that delivers early drinkability, but will continue to show well for 12 years at least, and remain beautifully drinkable through 20 or more.
"Like with the Cabernet, the 2013 Merlot was reviewed last year under the Tenor 2:2 label. Incorporating 24% Cabernet Franc, it has a pretty complex bouquet of plum pit, blood orange, leafy herbs and mint to go with a charming, ripe, supple style on the palate. I love its silky, elegant texture, and while good now, it should benefit from a few years in bottle."
91 points - Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate
Additional Information about this vintage
Vineyard Philosophy: This wine is very actively engineered in the vineyards. We’re careful to manage yields and limit canopy growth to build concentration, depth and power. We want length and texture, and tannins that are refined but very definitely present. We source primarily from Red Mountain and the Royal Slope, with some of our Cab Franc coming from the southwestern fringe of the Columbia Valley. We look to minimize the herbaceous notes of the Cab Franc, while enhancing the darker, smokier notes in the Merlot.
The Vintage: 2013 was the warmest vintage since 2003, but it cooled off just in time for harvest. The resulting wines were less likely to tip over into overripe flavors or high alcohol levels, and picking proceeded at a normal pace. Growers let canopies spread a bit more than usual and adjusted crop sizes to achieve the kind of balance they wanted. With a cooling trend that started in mid-September, red wines come with ripe flavors, moderate alcohol levels and vivid acidity.