Cannonball Merlot 2017, California

Vintage 2017 brought abundant winter and springtime rainfall to California which was much-needed and allowed the vines to delay budbreak. Warm temperatures in early fall heated the fruit which allowed for ripening in mid-September and led to profound flavor development, color density, acid retention and tannin resolution in the fruit and resulting wine. Medium ruby in color showing a bouquet of cherry and black tea accented by subtle sweet vanilla French oak and a fetching blueberry compote note. The palate is generous and soft on approach, leading with supple cherry fruit and transitioning to richer boysenberry flavors on the mid-palate where the medium-firm tannins, caramel, and notes of clove and black pepper come into play. The vintage’s fresh acidity lends structure to this silky expression of Merlot leaving a lingering, savory finish. “We find that Merlot expresses its most appealing varietal character when grown in regions that experience warm afternoon temperatures balanced by cool nights and mornings. California’s Mendocino County has a rugged coastline and highlands that offer a generous range of soils and exposures in which to cultivate Merlot.” – Winery