Our 2008 Mitsuko’s Vineyard Merlot is a deeply colored wine demonstrating bold and exotic aromas of fresh black cherries, plum jam and wild violets enhanced by nuances of incense,graham crackers and fresh pipe tobacco. This voluptuous wine fills the mouth with concentrated bright fruit counterbalanced by a broad rich structure, substantial mid-palate volume and a lengthy satisfying finish.
Vineyard & Vintage Notes
A third consecutive winter of low rainfall started the 2008 season. Budbreak was slightly later than average, with most signs of green growth not showing until the first week of April, rather than the more typical March. Nevertheless, an early spring frost soon after budbreak dramatically reduced Merlot crop levels in Mitsuko’s Vineyard. The interval was short between budbreak and the commencement of the flowering and fruit set period in late May, punctuated by a heat spell in the high 90s and brisk winds. The warmth certainly encouraged fruit-set, and all varieties were completed in less than ten days after bloom, giving great consistency to the individual berry development. Summer in 2008 was undoubtedly hot, with multiple heat spikes over 100 degrees. The harvest commenced with a bang after a heat wave in late August/early September though the weather then moderated to a long and mild fall. Historically low crop levels in Merlot resulted in wines of magnificent concentration.
Fermentation was conducted with indigenous yeast, prolonging pre-fermentation cold maceration (for color and fruit enhancement), adding complexity of flavor and reinforcing the terroir. Extraction was individually tailored by wine lot, with the Merlot and Malbec receiving on average three weeks on the skins to optimize aromatics and charm yet fully extract and develop tannins. The 2008 wines were racked three times, once each in the winter, spring and summer of 2009. In March of 2010 the wine was racked up to tank to prepare for bottling after total élevage of 18 months in our caves before bottling in April 2010.