After skipping a vintage for the first time in 40 years due to the 2017 fires, Gundlach Bundschu is beyond thrilled to release the 2018 Rhinefarm Estate Merlot. Thanks to its natural tendency to thrive in the climate and soil, and the stellar growing conditions of this year, Team Merlot is back with a vengeance. French thyme, Himalayan blackberry, and filé powder swirl into a perfect blend of fruit and savory aromas. On the palate, flavors of dried red currant, nutmeg, and Morello cherries are balanced perfectly with fine, smooth tannins. This wine is singing its comeback song beautifully now, but the show will go on for the next 8+ years.
Blend: 92% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec
With small additions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, this savory, well-made wine is robust in dried herb, tobacco, tar and earth, with notes of sage beckoning in the background. A black cherry flavor complements the moderate tannin and oak accents.
Another wine with a Bordeaux vibe, the deep ruby/purple-hued 2018 Merlot Sonoma Valley offers up a juicy, medium-bodied, nicely balanced style as well as ample black cherry, currants, cedary oak, and leafy herb aromas and flavors. It has some chewy tannins and should benefit from a year or two of bottle age.