2011 Merlot "Aux Raynauds"

2011 Merlot

2011 Merlot "Aux Raynauds"

In 2005 when Calluna Vineyards was first planted, a 1-acre block of Merlot was dedicated in honor of Alain Raynaud and his family of Saint-Emilion, with whom winemaker David Jeffrey apprenticed in 2003. It is Doctor Raynaud and the legendary Merlot-based wines from that region which inspire this classic Right Bank wine.

In keeping with that region’s traditions, an important contribution is added by Cabernet Franc.

"David Jeffrey has fashioned a simply excellent merlot in the 2011 vintage, with the wine coming in at 13.5 percent alcohol and including fifteen percent cabernet franc in the cépages. The bouquet is deep, pure and very Pomerol-like (La Conseillante-like?) in its aromatic constellation of black cherries, a bit of black raspberry, fresh herb tones, tobacco leaf, a beautiful base of soil tones, a touch of balsam bough and a very discreet base of new wood. On the palate the wine is medium-full, focused and utterly refined, with a superb core, excellent youthful structure, impeccable balance and a very long, moderately tannic and very complex finish. This is structured like a young 1985 Bordeaux, with youthful complexity coupled to classic structural reticence, and this exemplary Sonoma merlot really deserves at least four or five years of bottle age to start to blossom. It will age long and gracefully and is one of the best examples of this varietal that I have tasted in ages!"

94+ Points