Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, California
Showing the most fruit upon release, with the potential to improve over the next five years.5 Years
Delicious with summer grilled sausages or herb-roasted chicken.
Paso Robles saw a fourth consecutive year of low rainfall in 2015. The dry conditions experienced locally mirrored the extreme climatic trends witnessed across the entire state of California. Budbreak was early, as is typical in dry years, with vines coming out of dormancy in mid-March. Good growing conditions in April brought rapid shoot growth, but were followed by an unusually cold period in early May that reduced our Merlot crop yield by roughly 30% due to shatter. This lighter crop ripened readily, with the earliest pick occurring on September 10th, and the final pick on the 26th. The top lots for Los Osos move quickly from the press pan to the barrel room, where they finish malolactic fermentation in new oak barrels. A month later these barrels are reblended to incorporate the Malbec component, before the entire blend returns to the barrel room for a year of rest. The 2015 Los Osos Merlot can be splash decanted to open up its full aroma potential at your table.
Traditionally, we harvest our estate-grown Merlot grapes across a range of sugar ripeness. The early picks usually capture the classic varietal definition of Merlot, while the fruit harvested later adds depth and intensity to the wine. Clone and rootstock combinations, along with variations in soil, add complexity to our Los Osos Merlot, as does the introduction of Italian clones of Merlot. We grow our Merlot grapes in the moderately cool El Pomar district of Paso Robles, which is generally acknowledged to be the ideal area for this variety in the Paso Robles AVA. Planted on Nacimiento-Los Osos, Arbuckle-San Ysidro, and Arbuckle-Positas complex soils, these well-drained but relatively poor soils limit vine vigor and support wine quality.