2019 Vapor Trail Merlot
Lodi (Mokelumne River)
French & American Oak barrels (35% new)
This big Vapor Trail Merlot is a powerful wine bursting with aromas of ripe fruit, blueberry pie and vanilla. Deep color and full body this wine fills your mouth with black cherry jam that lures you in for another sip. This wine has a rich, bright and strong lingering finish.
Estate Vineyard to the west of our tasting room and production facility. Bilateral cordon trained into vertical shoot position (VSP). Clone 3 on 5BB rootstock. Planted in 2014, the vines are young and full of energy. Pruning and shoot thinning were done to keep cluster counts in balance, leaves were pulled on the north side of the vine as the rows oriented east to west. The vineyard is sustainably farmed and certified green under Lodi Rules.
Grapes were hand-picked in the morning and gently sorted and transferred back to bins for cold soak. Must was inoculated and fermentation was done in temperature controlled stainless steel tank and was pumped over in regular intervals. Aged in 35% new oak barrels (both French and American), the balance was done in neutral oak.
Normally, we try to pick these grapes before they get this ripe for our standard Merlot program, but in 2019, they ripened sooner than expected. While somewhat distressing at first, we were pleasantly surprised at the result and felt that it was in line with our Vapor Trail style. We hope you enjoy the results!