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2002 Merlot Grand Vintage

2002 was a long, hot growing season. Periods of high humidity and disease pressure were managed thanks to meticulous shoot and leaf thinning and exhaustive (four passes) fruit-thinning, resulting in completely ripe fruit. Average yields were 1.75 to 2 tons per acre.

The grapes were sent through the crusher-destemmer with the rollers set wide apart to retain a larger number of whole berries. The grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks after 6 days of cold soaking. Pump overs were done with splashing of the free run and then gently irrigating the cap. This method insures that only the softest tannins are extracted. After the fermentation was complete, the free run was drained into oak barrels. The must was pressed and, after clarification, was also moved to oak barrels. The malolactic fermentation was completed in the barrels. After 14 month in the barrels the Merlot Grand Vintage was bottled.

“...follows the savory, earthy, fungal, meaty theme of the “white label” version. Indeed, the presence of star anise and exotic spices in the nose only emphasizes this Bordeaux blend’s Burgundian kinship. On the palate, this is plush and creamy, with a wealth of fruit but not of such obvious berry and pit fruit character. A long, savory finish preserves a wealth of canal, spice, and fungal flavors.” Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate - 89 - June 30, 2006

Appellation: North Fork of Long Island

Variety: 99% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon

Cooperage: 70% new and older French oak barrels, 30% older American oak barrels

Alcohol: 13.0%

pH: 3.66

Total acidity: 6.1 g/l

Harvest Date: October 15, 2002

Brix at Harvest: 22.3

Residual Sugar: 0.1%

Bottling Date: March 29, 2004

Release Date: June 1, 2007

Production: 346 cases