2013 Meritage Lot 2 (Two Jakes) (Aspects)

Our vineyard on a peninsula jutting into the southeastern corner of Clear Lake is the site of the most remarkable Merlot in the State of California, resembling more a classic Pomerol’s density, depth and masculine tannins, though imparting an unctuous feminine texture. The 2013 was harvested in early October in warm, fair weather which achieved early full ripeness.

Our volcanic soils produce solid, age-worthy tannins and a lively mineral energy to the palate. Persistent sunny rays at the high altitude draw from each varietal block its unique aromatic signature, preserved by the cooling breezes of the adjacent lake. In this wine, we wanted to showcase the complex aromatic elements as a single, complex symphony of fruit with seductive undertones that can only develop with extensive age in neutral oak.

Different Cabernet Sauvignon clones will develop aromas as diverse as grenadine, cassis, raspberry, carob, Asian spice and tar, with tannins and acidity equally varied. Of these, Clone 15 is the most complete: richest in cassis fruit and most structurally solid. Clone 4 is lighter and is characterized by bright cherry aromatics coupled to firm, broad, approachable tannins. A splash of Cabernet Franc imparts high-pitched white cherry and cinnamon notes and a steely backbone to the structure.

After 90 months in neutral French oak, considerable complexity has developed. It’s enjoyable now with a veal chop, wild mushrooms or an exotic cheese. Well within the optimum drinking window, it should easily last another decade in a good cellar.