Mission Codename 100+
This is a rare opportunity to taste such a budget-friendly wine from such an esteemed winemaker! Please note that quantity is limited, so please visit with us early.
Today’s J Ludlow Wines 2012 “JJ” Santa Ynez Valley Merlot was made by veteran winemaker Alan Phillips, who was a Protegé of unequaled wine legend, André Tchelistcheff who was America’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker. Andy himself has held posts at iconic wineries like Monticello, Foley Estates and Lincourt Vineyards. More than a hundred 90-plus scores have been attributed to Phillipps’ winemaking expertise so far in his career.
Fairly dense and dark for a Merlot, the coloring at the center of the glass is a deep garnet encircled by a lighter brick. Nice oak influences on the nose giving rise to woody nuances such as cedar and pine. There’s a black currant and white pepper yin and yang spice character topped off with a toffee twist. The fresh fruit character is more prominent on the taste buds with juicy cherry and wild strawberry notes. In addition, herbaceous qualities include black tea and green almond. The acidity is very lively, driving a fruit-forward experience that can stand up to a serious dish that might typically be reserved for Cabernet. If you’re sick of Cabernet, bring this bold Merlot to your next steak dinner and impress the crowd.
The Santa Ynez Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area), which was designated in 1983, covers more than 75,000 acres in the broader Santa Barbara County. The area has since been sub-divided into four separate sub-appellations: Sta. Rita Hills, Happy Canyon, Ballard Canyon, and the Los Olivos District. The Santa Ynez AVA contains a diversity of soil and climate types which contribute, in turn, to a great diversity of grape varietal and wine styles. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the most-planted grape here, but Rhône and Bordeaux varieties (like Merlot) do particularly well here.
What the Winery Says
2012 "JJ" Santa Ynez Valley Merlot
- Alan Phillips
- Santa Ynez Valley, California