2016 Bradford Mountain Estate Dry Creek Merlot
Merlot •Bradford Mountain Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Dry Creek Valley
International Merlot Day Tomorrow??! We’re here for it. In a BIG way.
Quick warning: This is NOT your average, uninspired, V6-in-a-Mustang type Merlot. Nope. It’s hard-charging, full throttle, 5.2L flat-plane-crank V8 juice that pins your palate down with that cheek-flapping intensity. For about half the price of admission to a Six Flags it delivers serious thrills.
This rollercoaster first takes you up high to Bradford Mountain, around 1,200 feet elevation to be exact, where their 114-year-old estate vineyards thrive. As the coaster roars down, one is reminded that Jamie Peterson has 23 consecutive harvests under his belt, so he sure knows how to wrangle this high-octane varietal.
Juicy and lush, with a musclebound, take no prisoners attitude, it’s a pedal to the metal style no doubt. The 2016 vintage was a knockout, and this is just coming into its own, settling down into a full-bodied beast with a soft, friendly side… overflowing with sweet plum, Medjool dates, some blueberry pie, and smoky vanilla with a spicy, earthy backbone holding it all together. Put this right alongside a burly Napa Cabernet, and you might be hard-pressed to say which brings more lush, ripe, hedonistic fruit.
Of course, Peterson wines have a long history around here and have grown immensely popular over the years. So, we really can’t guarantee that this one will last long.
Pause here to go grab what you need… then come back for some awesome bits from a must-read recent article!
Why CA Merlot is the ultimate wine hack – San Francisco Chronicle
“When was the last time you sat down for a glass of California Merlot? Last week? Last year? Last decade? Never? If Merlot has been on hiatus in your drinking endeavors, and especially if you’re a Cabernet Sauvignon diehard, you are missing out on one of the rare, consistent values in California wine…
Nonetheless, even the most expert tasters have difficulty telling Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon apart. The two grapes are genetic half-siblings, sharing a parent in Cabernet Franc. One key indicator is the texture: Merlot is often described as velvety, while Cabernet can feel more closed-off, especially when young. But when both are made at the highest-quality level, these nuances become even more minute…
That makes Merlot one of California’s greatest wine hacks for the Cabernet Sauvignon lover on a budget. Many winemakers will put the exact same care into their Merlot as they do their Cabernet Sauvignon, but sell it for a fraction of the price. In 2017, Napa County’s average price for Cabernet grapes translated to roughly a $75 bottle of wine, whereas Merlot’s average came out to a $34 bottle…
With the price tags still affordable and the quality as good as ever, it’s time to get back into the Merlot game.”
Deep crimson with a bright claret rim that glows with radiance
Overflowing with sweet plum, Medjool dates, some blueberry pie, and smoky vanilla with a spicy, earthy
Juicy and lush, with a musclebound, take no prisoners attitude, it’s a pedal to the metal style no doubt
A full-bodied beast with a soft, friendly side… backbone holding it all together, long and seamlessly
Everything you would with a Cabernet of considerable size and depth, this will stand up to all
What the Winery Says
- Jamie Peterson
- 84% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot
- Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
- Bradford Mountain Estate Vineyard
- Harvest date
- September 8-22, 2016
- Total acidity
- 6.8 g/L
- 26 months
- 50% 1-year-old French oak
- Bottling Date
- December 13, 2018 (unfined and unfiltered)