Hook & Ladder Vineyards and Winery
2010 Russian River Valley Merlot
Merlot •Los Amigos Ranch
California: Russian River Valley
The Engine is Red
Today’s Hook & Ladder Vineyards and Winery 2010 Russian River Valley Merlot is complex and delicious - but ultimately very approachable. And very food friendly.
Winery president Michael DeLoach joined our tasting panel when we reviewed today’s wine. We enjoyed his presence as he joked with us and guided us through this delicious Merlot. His personality was every bit as effusive as his wine.
Made in an opulent and fruit-forward style, this is one balanced and delicious wine. Flavors cascade all across the palate, with fruit, spice and earth each playing an equal part. The finish is elegant, with a slightly dusty and gently drying feeling that gradually spreads to the far corners of the palate.
We offer you this incredible Merlot with our boldest recommendation.
Vivid, midnight scarlet at its heart, transitioning to a lighter ruby edge.
This wine is truly beautiful on the nose, with plenty of dark fruit balanced against earth and warm herbal notes. Reduced black cherry, blackberry, and plum elegantly mingle with aromas reminiscent of a fresh spring garden, including red pepper, tomato stem, rosemary, and sage. These notes are combined with sweet cedar, dark chocolate, and a slight hint of minerality.
Very similar to the nose, and just as pleasing on the palate. Dark fruit of black cherry, blackberry, and black currant combine with espresso bean, sweet tobacco, and warm spices.
A cool, light entry, with just a touch of grip and drying at the very edges of the palate. This wine has a long and incredibly satisfying finish.
We recommend a hearty winter meal of wild boar shoulder, braised in a rosemary-infused port sauce.
What the Winery Says
Our hand-picked Merlot is gently de-stemmed and crushed to both closed and open-top fermentors. When the color, flavors and tannins are fully extracted from the skins, the wine is aged for a minimum of 17 months in both European and American oak. This Merlot is combined with 5% Cabernet Sauvignon from our adjoining vineyards to bring added structure and complexity. A full mouth of blackberry and chocolate-raspberry with hints of spice, plum and tobacco lead to a lingering black cherry finish.
- Jason De Loach
- Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California
- Fruit Composition
- 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 17 months in European and American oak
About the Winery
On 375 acres situated in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, our vineyards produce cool climate grapes widely recognized as some of the finest in the world. Grape growers of the early 1900’s recognized the sites of our vineyards as being uniquely suited for wine grape growing. Building on their knowledge and experience, we have matched the soil and climate of each parcel with the varietals most likely to achieve its full potential.