Gundlach Bundshu Estate Vineyard Merlot 2014, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California

Eight miles north of San Pablo Bay, the Bundschu family’s 158 year old vineyard wraps around the southwest slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains. The terrain features steep, southwest-facing hillsides of shallow, rocky soils of volcanic ash and alluvial wash. Pervasive maritime breezes and long daylight exposure allow fruit to develop intense concentration while retaining vibrant structure. A portion is sourced from warmer vineyard sites in Sonoma Valley to add lushness to the mid-palate. This is a medium-bodied wine that has some fine, yet grippy tannins and an ageable future, but it’s tightly wound core is not shy. It offers seamless layers of violets, dark fruit, ripe black olive, earth and a hint of warm Crème Brûlée. 2014 vintage – 89% Merlot, 5% Petite Verdot, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc. 3-5 day cold soak. Extraction through gentle pump-overs. Weekly batonnage during the native malolactic fermentation. Aged 17 months in 100% French oak, 40% new.