2019 Merlot "Aux Raynauds"

2019 Merlot

2019 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. 200 cases bottled

2019 was a great follow on to the also excellent 2018 growing season – a beautiful year without significant issues until the one calamitous event – at the end of October 2019, the Kincade fire burned through the region and caused us much pain. Fortunately, the grapes were harvested and the wine safe and sound when the fires hit. It will be the height of irony if 2019 is our best vintage ever, but right now it is a contender.

This wine is my tribute to Alain Raynaud and family, for whom I worked in St. Emilion. It is 90% Merlot from our best block and 10% of our estate Cabernet Franc, in the spirit of the Right Bank of Bordeaux. We made just 200 cases and nearly all of it goes to our wine club.

John Gilman of View from the Cellar wrote just recently that Calluna makes "the very finest bottling of merlot in all of California..."

$45 750ml