Merlot from The Wetzel Family Estate has a reputation for being a big, structured wine. First produced in 1984, this has never been one of those fruit bombs or thin and wimpy wines. A old school Merlot that shows good structure. Overall, it was a cool growing year with fewer heat spikes than in the past few years. Diligent vineyard management was the key to achieving great fruit development and uniform ripening. The grapes had good structure, balance and complexity at harvest. The wine has that classic AVV structure, but it shows a touch more restraint than prior vintages. So what makes our Merlot so different than others? It is the warm days and cool nights of the valley, combined with the gravelly loam soil, along with vineyard management and handcrafting the wine. We prune our Merlot vines heavily to minimize vegetal flavors and drop fruit several times during the growing season to give more concentration to the remaining bunches. Winemaker Kevin Hall has found that fermenting the Merlot at a little cooler temperature than some of our other Bordeaux grapes reduces the Merlots inherent herbaceous as well. After fermentation the lots spend 18 months aging in a combination of French and American oak barrels. This wine has great color in the glass with a red purple hue. There are aromas of black cherry, blackberry, plum and a touch of oak with vanilla and eucalyptus. This is a mouth filling wine with good balance and flavors of red fruits, cassis, plum, a little mint and vanilla. The finish is long and lasting, so pour a glass and savor the flavors of real Merlot.
AVV's vineyards stretch from the banks of the Russian River up on to south facing hillsides. Alexander Valley Vineyards produces 100,000 cases...
AVV's vineyards stretch from the banks of the Russian River up on to south facing hillsides. Alexander Valley Vineyards produces 100,000 cases annually, 17 varietal wines and proprietary blends. Seventy-five percent of AVV s production is red wine. Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon constitute roughly half of total production. Other varietals include Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Gewurztraminer, Syrah, Sangiovese, Viognier, and Cabernet Franc. CYRUS, a limited production, proprietary red wine, named in honor of the pioneer Cyrus Alexander, is AVV s benchmark, honoring the past while signaling the future.