2016 MerlotThe 2016 Matthews Merlot comes from several small vineyard parcels within three AVAs: Red Mountain, Walla Walla, and the Columbia Valley. Harvested by hand in the early mornings September through October 20th, it was then hand-sorted and fermented in the winery using both concrete (91%) and stainless steel (9%) tanks. The free-run wine was cellared in French oak (50% new) for 21 months. Evaluated over 40 times by our winemaking team, only 272 cases were ultimately selected and bottled.
"Drinking more like a Bordeaux blend than straight-up Merlot, this has coffee, raspberry, spice, herb, dark cherry and graphite aromas out front. The palate brings a sense of volume and layering but also elegance, extending on the finish. A citrus note emerges over time. It has a nice yum factor."
91 points - Sean Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast
Additional Information about this vintage
Vinification This wine was fermented in 91% concrete tanks and 9% in stainless steel and aged in 50% new French oak for 21 months. A new wine made to provide a Merlot in the same level as the Claret for those people looking for a more Merlot focused wine. Bright and energetic with clean lines and a plush, but polished feel.
2016 Vintage The past several years have seen temperatures get hotter and hotter, the difference in 2016 was that there was extremely early budbreak throughout the state, meaning temperatures were warm from the get–go. That being said, temperatures did not peak as high as 2015. Early spring was warmer, so it looked like it might be a scorcher, but then it stayed moderate. If you look at the technical data for 2016, growing degrees seemed high, but that doesn’t take into account a longer growing season. This stretched out growing season saw cooler temperatures in the fall, which can be described as Napa Valley style weather.