The 2016 Tenor Merlot was crafted from several vineyards across three separate AVAs in Washington State: Columbia Valley, Red Mountain, and the Walla Walla Valley. Farmed using sustainable practices, the vines were limited to one or two clusters per shoot for maximum concentration. They were hand-harvested in the early morning between late September and October, with the final pick coming on October 28th, 2016.
Upon arriving at the winery, each cluster was hand-sorted, berry-sorted, and then fermented in either stainless steel (81%) or concrete (19%) tanks. Using only the free-run wine, it was then moved to custom French oak barrels for 21 months of cellaring with over 40 individual evaluations by our winemaking team. The resulting 11 barrels were bottled, without fining or filtration, on August 13th, 2018, producing only 257 cases.
Sweet smoked strawberry, plum puree, sandalwood and black tea. Even a hint of dried herbs dance in the background. Swirling brings up plum skin, black currants, bramble fruit, black spices and dark caramel. The palate is plush, round and surprisingly vibrant with a juicy quality to the plump and sultry fruit. It finishes with silky but firm tannins and a mixture of red and black fruits and a hint of licorice. Remarkably pleasurable now, but still a baby.
Awards & Accolades
"The 2016 Merlot (100% Merlot aged in 91% new French oak) has a smoky, meaty bouquet of ripe bloody blueberry and currant fruits, freshly sharpened pencils, wood smoke, and camphor. This ripe, medium to full-bodied effort has plenty of fruit, nicely balanced oak, ripe tannins and a good finish."
92 points - Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com