We almost decided to stop bottling a varietal Merlot. Despite making excellent Merlot off the Hillside Vineyard year after year, slow sales of the wine had us leaning towards abandoning it.
Merlot has been sabotaged in the marketplace by overpriced, under- fruited wines for years. That is what originally drove us to reduce crop size - the goal of producing a truly worthy Merlot to help resurrect its name. The wines we made have shown their stuff. The older ones have aged beautifully.
Then along came Merlot from Champoux Vineyard. We started getting Merlot from Paul Champoux in 2005. Wow! True to form, his vineyard delivers dark, rich (to the point of voluptuous), powerful wines. No way we were not going to bottle this alone as a varietal!
This is what Merlot can be; dark, supple, complex, powerful. We wish there were more of it.