- 96% Merlot
3% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Total Acidity
- 0.53 g/100 ml
- Barrel Aging
- French & American oak (18 months)
33% new, 67% "neutral"
2009 Horse Heaven HillsH3 Merlot
“The H3 Merlot opens with aromas of raspberries, black pepper and earthy tones which lead to flavors of chocolate covered cherries and plum preserves on the silky smooth palate. The flavors and aromas cumulate in to an intense – yet elegant – finish." Juan Munoz Oca, Winemaker
The growing season was perfect with dry, warm weather and lots of sunshine. Although bloom was delayed slightly by cool spring weather, warm temperatures soon returned and perfect ripening weather lasted through September.
A freeze in the Columbia Valley on the night of October 10th led to a slightly early end to the harvest season. However most grapes were already picked or had already reached a good level of maturity.
Overall the 2009 vintage produced wines with lots of natural acidity and fruit-forward flavors.
Grapes were crushed with at least 30% whole-berry to retain the fruit quality.
Fermentation lasted 7-14 days on the skins to extract optimum fruit and structural components. Various yeasts were used to maintain fruit flavors and complexity. The wine was barrel aged in 1/3 new American and French Oak, with 2/3 older oak for 18 months.