Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, CA
Showing the most fruit upon release, with the potential to improve over the next five years.5 Years
Delicious with grilled sausage and roasted summer vegetables.
Fermentation: Whole-berry fermentation in stainless steel tanks
Maturation: 12 months in barrel with 18% new oak
Barrel Type: American oak from Missouri forests, primarily light and medium-long toast with toasted heads
Thanks to a “Miracle March,” the 2018 growing season will be remembered as the fourth in a string of normal rainfall years in Paso Robles, with over 70% of this season’s rainfall being accumulated in a 3-week period beginning the first of March. That kicked off a rare vintage of exceptional quality and yield. A nice stretch of warm weather in May assured a good bloom and fruit set on the developing clusters. This was followed by an unprecedented 46-day heat spell beginning after the 4th of July holiday. This extended the season as vines slowed photosynthesis as a defense against the high temperatures. Ever-patient to allow fruit to fully ripen, we began picking Merlot the last week of September and finished up in the first week of October. Our house-style continues to incorporate a generous percentage of Malbec, which brings red- fruit aromas and a juicy mouthfeel to our Los Osos Merlot.
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. We grow our Merlot 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 fruit quality.