This past weekend marked the first official pouring of the 2007 Halter Ranch Merlot!
We have produced a Merlot only twice since 2002. Once in 2005 and again in 2007, both were stellar growing years, and both bottlings amounted to less than 250 cases. In other vintages our Merlot, grown right here on the property with the rest of our grapes, has been used as a blending component in our Cabernet Sauvignon and Ancestor programs. 2005 marked the third leaf for our Merlot vines and the resulting fruit was absolutely spectacular, showing excellent supple Merlot character with an unexpected and delightful structural backbone. 2007 was one of our best growing years to date and the fruit off our Merlot vines–Blocks 6, 32, and 33–was showing enough character to warrant another varietal effort. While the few remaining cases of 2005 Halter Ranch Merlot are in the cellar awaiting the opportunity to appear on our library list, the 2007 vintage is bright and eager to be tasted!
Since the 2005 vintage we have bottled at least one small lot, varietal wine each year and the staff greatly anticipates the opportunity to present them to the public when they arrive for pouring. To date we have poured a 2005 Cabernet Franc and Merlot, a 2006 Rhone blend called Pioneer House Red, a 2007 Malbec, and finally the 2007 Merlot. All of these wines were produced in small quantitites, released exclusively through the tasting room and wine club, and all–excluding the 2007 Merlot–have sold out quickly!