2018 Merlot "Aux Raynauds"

2018 Merlot

2018 Merlot "Aux Raynauds"

This wine comes primarily from our tiny block of Merlot dedicated to Alain Raynaud and his family of Bordeaux. At once a great innovator and a great traditionalist, Doctor Raynaud taught David Jeffrey much of what he knows of the wines of Bordeaux when he worked at Chateau Quinault in St. Emilion. In return, Calluna offers Aux Raynauds as a wine reminiscent of that region – with Merlot French Clone 181 on 420a rootstock, and a bit of Cabernet Franc – combined with the signature of our Sonoma terroir.

The Raynaud block of Merlot sits on an essentially flat plateau near the top of our property with a significant element of clay – this is the soil type in which Merlot thrives. With its hilltop exposure and non-vigorous canopies, the fruit gets much sun exposure. But in Chalk Hill's cooler climate, it is ideal for getting the fruit ripe without pushing it over the top – producing authentic Merlot character without pruniness and high alcohol.

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

190 cases bottled

"I love David Jeffrey’s Merlot “aux Raynauds” bottling, which is the most “grown up” California merlot that I regularly taste these days... This is most emphatically not one of your fruit forward, velvety and simple red wines that made merlot so ubiquitous and so unappealing to seasoned wine drinkers a couple of decades ago, but rather a wine that pays tribute to the great wines made from this grape variety in Pomerol and St. Émilion."

John Gilman, View from the Cellar - July 2019