Beautiful nose of ripe, perfumed cherry, with notes of vanilla, dark berry, sandalwood, and crème brûlée. Rich and inviting with a soft and full entry. Mouth-filling with a velvety texture of dark berry fruit, notes of black plum, cassis and mocha. Delicious supple tannins; the smooth finish lingers with notes of ripe cherry fruit, toasty oak notes and bittersweet chocolate on the finish.
2015 had about 23 inches of rain, around 70% of normal. This year stood out for how dry the spring was. Fortunately, we had solid, drenching rains in December to fill the reservoirs, putting us in a better water position than last year. Warmer temps in winter and spring got the vines off to a fast start. Around May, cooler temps and foggy mornings set in, which dragged out bloom and affected the “set,” or pollination of the flowers. This resulted in some “shatter,” or flowers that did not set, and thus grapes did not form. Consequently, clusters were smaller and looser with less crop overall than the large 2013 and 2014 vintages. Lighter loads led to accelerated development and a very early harvest. Harvest at our Oakville estate vineyard began with Petit Verdot on September 9, followed by Malbec on September 11. The Cabernet Sauvignon began to arrive on September 14. The last of the fruit off our Oakville estate was harvested on October 12.
Magnificat is one of the original Meritage blends in California, a wine Franciscan has proudly produced since 1985. Named for J.S. Bach’s masterpiece, it is crafted to be as seamless and harmonious as its musical namesake. Starting with over 200 small lots of red wine, Magnificat is created to showcase our finest Bordeaux blend of the vintage. Carefully assessing each lot as it ages in barrel, we create the blend with repeated trials and blind tastings. Pre-fermentation is with a cold soak of 4 days to enhance color and body. Fermentation and maceration average 22 days to build structure and integrate mouthfeel. Depending on how the varieties express in a given year, the composition will be different, always shaped to provide consistency of style. The wine is founded on Cabernet Sauvignon, but true to Meritage, uses other Bordeaux varietals to give roundness, structure, and rich complexity.