2011 Folding Money Merlot

Total acidity
.51
pH
3.5
Serving temp.
69°F
Best from
2015
Best until
2025
Pairings
Braised foods, lamb with rosemary, dark chocolate and raspberries, blue cheese, or artisanal salumis

The grapes for this wine came from a small, incredibly picturesque vineyard just on the border of Napa and Sonoma. Grown by a dedicated Viticulturist with a passion for vines, the pedigree of this fruit was amazing. With east/west orientation to the rows and a gentle uphill slope, the vines are positioned to receive plenty of the warm sun typical of the Knights Valley.

Unfortunately, the year’s weather had something else in mind. One of the coolest, wettest seasons in a decade, trying to ripen the fruit was definitely a challenge. Mark did all he could to get the crop load to balance it’s chemistry, but Merlot is typically harvested in late October while the sun is still shining. In 2011, we had to get the fruit off the vines in between rainstorms. A very tight window. But we got it on the truck, and back to Boulder it went.

Because this fruit was on the lean side of ripe, we wanted to give it as much texture and body as possible with the vinification. It received an extended maceration after fermentation, and was cellared and aged in 40% new oak, with a few barrels receiving a heavy toast. We watched this wine for the first year, and it was still quite young and difficult. So we left it another year. And it was coming together. So we left it a bit longer, and finally, it was ready. With close to 26 months in barrel, this wine is a beautiful example of a cool climate merlot. Not to be confused with those flabby, overripe, high alcohol pajama wines.

Tasting Notes

Merlot is one of my favorite wines. It’s warm, and friendly, and rich and interesting. this wine reminds me of a good Bordeaux. We added 10% Cabernet at Blending to soften the edges and give it a bit of chocolate on the nose. Leaning towards blueberry, cassis, mint and pepper, with a rich, long textural finish. The lower alcohol and lower PH makes this a wine for aging. It will be showing it’s pedigree from 2015-2025. But if you can’t wait that long, be sure and give it an hour in the decanter to breathe.

This wine will pair beautifully with braised foods, lamb with rosemary, dark chocolate and raspberries, blue cheese, or artisanal salumis. Serving temperature is recommended 69 degrees to bring out all of the complexities.