2012 Frostwatch Merlot

2012 Frostwatch Merlot

Bennett Valley AVA, Sonoma

'Outstanding' & 91pts -Wine Enthusiast

$15.99
Retail Price
$35.00
Savings
54%



Sold Out

VARIETAL: 100% Merlot

ALCOHOL: 14.90%

SIZE: 750ml

Ratings:

91pts -Wine Enthusiast

92 Insider Points

Reviews:

This appellation has shown great promise with the variety and this wine demonstrates why. Aromas and flavors of dried and baked plum center on a juicy, soft core, accented in pencil shavings and cedar. Red cherries and a long finish complement the whole.

-Wine Enthusiast 


White stone and black currant on the nose. Earthy flavors on the palate reminiscent of the Right Bank, with tad more jam of pomegranate, fig, anise, plum skin leading into a blackberry finish. An excellent wine for any New World lover. 

92 Points - JZ April '18

Why We're Drinking It:

Most are still unfamiliar with this emerging cool AVA. Bennett Valley: the AVA whose boundaries lie completely within the North Coast AVA, almost completely within the Sonoma Valley AVA and overlaps into some areas of the Sonoma Coast AVA and Sonoma Mountain AVA. It's that place, wine enthusiasts' looking for juicy reds need to know about.

Frostwatch Merlot is quickly becoming a benchmark for New World Merlot production. Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate tasted the Sold Out 2013 vintage and scored it at 94 points. He tasted this wine in early 2017 and scored it 90+, (the plus indicating that it had the potential for improving with additional bottle age).  We believe it has done just that and recommend that fans of the 2013 give this one a try.  A solid vintage, 2012 produced a complex yet intensely flavored wine that tastes great now but will continue to improve in the bottle for several years. The wine is a dense, almost opaque purple/red color. The subtle tannins give the wine structure but do not overpower the wine’s black cherry and plum flavors. The finish is highlighted by a dusting of dried herbs and tea leaves—the hallmark of a good merlot.

Tasting Notes:

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Vineyard Source: The grapes come from Frostwatch Vineyard located in Bennett Valley, a relatively new AVA in Sonoma County.  A gap in the surrounding mountains permits cool coastal breezes and fog to pour into the valley on a regular basis throughout the spring and summer.  As a result, the appellation is distinguished by its very long growing season, modest yields relative to other areas and full flavored wines with good natural acidity.  Frostwatch Vineyard, planted in 1997, is located on a rocky apron beneath Bennett Peak.

The Story to Know:

From the Winery:

Frostwatch Vineyard & Winery is owned and operated by Brett Raven and Diane Kleinecke.  While 2002 was the winery’s inaugural vintage, our interest in wine dates back to the mid-1980’s when we met while attending U.C. Davis.  After completing our educations, we married and went to work in San Francisco’s Financial District.  We enjoyed urban life, but we never gave up the dream of living in the country.  In 1995 we had the opportunity to purchase property in Bennett Valley.  Shortly thereafter, we moved to Sonoma County and had the first of our three children.  After establishing the Frostwatch Vineyard, it became clear that Brett had found his calling.   In addition to farming, he held a series of winemaking positions, (Alderbrook Winery, Matanzas Creek Winery, Ramey Wine Cellars) and took courses in winemaking through the U.C. Davis Extension.  While technically under contract to other wineries through 2005, our winery  partners graciously allowed us to hold back some fruit to begin our own label.  Frostwatch production has increased since the early days with nearly 1,800 cases produced from the 2013 vintage.

Perfect Pairings:

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Most are still unfamiliar with this emerging cool AVA. Bennett Valley: the AVA whose boundaries lie completely within the North Coast AVA, almost completely within the Sonoma Valley AVA and overlaps into some areas of the Sonoma Coast AVA and Sonoma Mountain AVA. It's that place, wine enthusiasts' looking for juicy reds need to know about.

Frostwatch Merlot is quickly becoming a benchmark for New World Merlot production. Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate tasted the Sold Out 2013 vintage and scored it at 94 points. He tasted this wine in early 2017 and scored it 90+, (the plus indicating that it had the potential for improving with additional bottle age).  We believe it has done just that and recommend that fans of the 2013 give this one a try.  A solid vintage, 2012 produced a complex yet intensely flavored wine that tastes great now but will continue to improve in the bottle for several years. The wine is a dense, almost opaque purple/red color. The subtle tannins give the wine structure but do not overpower the wine’s black cherry and plum flavors. The finish is highlighted by a dusting of dried herbs and tea leaves—the hallmark of a good merlot.

This appellation has shown great promise with the variety and this wine demonstrates why. Aromas and flavors of dried and baked plum center on a juicy, soft core, accented in pencil shavings and cedar. Red cherries and a long finish complement the whole.

-Wine Enthusiast 


White stone and black currant on the nose. Earthy flavors on the palate reminiscent of the Right Bank, with tad more jam of pomegranate, fig, anise, plum skin leading into a blackberry finish. An excellent wine for any New World lover. 

92 Points - JZ April '18

91pts -Wine Enthusiast

92 Insider Points

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Vineyard Source: The grapes come from Frostwatch Vineyard located in Bennett Valley, a relatively new AVA in Sonoma County.  A gap in the surrounding mountains permits cool coastal breezes and fog to pour into the valley on a regular basis throughout the spring and summer.  As a result, the appellation is distinguished by its very long growing season, modest yields relative to other areas and full flavored wines with good natural acidity.  Frostwatch Vineyard, planted in 1997, is located on a rocky apron beneath Bennett Peak.

From the Winery:

Frostwatch Vineyard & Winery is owned and operated by Brett Raven and Diane Kleinecke.  While 2002 was the winery’s inaugural vintage, our interest in wine dates back to the mid-1980’s when we met while attending U.C. Davis.  After completing our educations, we married and went to work in San Francisco’s Financial District.  We enjoyed urban life, but we never gave up the dream of living in the country.  In 1995 we had the opportunity to purchase property in Bennett Valley.  Shortly thereafter, we moved to Sonoma County and had the first of our three children.  After establishing the Frostwatch Vineyard, it became clear that Brett had found his calling.   In addition to farming, he held a series of winemaking positions, (Alderbrook Winery, Matanzas Creek Winery, Ramey Wine Cellars) and took courses in winemaking through the U.C. Davis Extension.  While technically under contract to other wineries through 2005, our winery  partners graciously allowed us to hold back some fruit to begin our own label.  Frostwatch production has increased since the early days with nearly 1,800 cases produced from the 2013 vintage.

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.