It is still hard to believe that the 2012 Merlot is the third vintage to make its way out the door. Needless to say, but I am going to anyway, it has been another fun adventure. 2012 was the first “normal” or warm/hot vintage I had the pleasure of working through. As I have mentioned before that posed some initial challenges for me because the growing season had accelerated so much compared to the two previous vintages. It wasn’t too hard to get control of the reins once again and the good news was that the wine was pretty much barreled down and ready for aging come October (a solid month earlier than 2010 or 2011).
As usual some once or twice used French oak barrels were set aside for the aging process which ended lasting 26 months when it was all said and done. It was a little bit longer than the previous vintages as well but it really allowed the 2012 Merlot to integrate and soften up just a bit more. For the first time I was able to give the wine some extra bottle age as well which is why it is being released now instead of November or December last year (something that I have been waiting three years to have the chance to do I might add). All in all the 2012 Merlot is the “next step” in the MTGA progression. It is what you can expect from a “normal” warm/hot vintage in Napa. As always I hone in on a great acidity to act as the backbone of the wine with some softer tannins on the structure side of things. With the warmer growing year this Merlot does lean more towards some darker fruit characteristics when compared to the previous vintages as well.
Like I said, it is definitely the next step in the MTGA progression and I hope that you will enjoy drinking the 2012 Merlot as much as I did making it!
2012 MTGA Merlot
189 Cases Produced $48 / bottle