The entire 2020 harvest was early. It started early and ended early, with harvest dates for each variety that were all notably earlier than normal. Harvest started on August 27th with early red hybrid
varieties. Autumn was brilliant – warm, sunny, and very little rainfall, providing great conditions for
harvest. Yields were down on all varieties (about 10-20%), but quality was excellent. The warm, sunny days and cooler evenings allowed the grapes to develop phenolic ripeness without any breakdown. Not unexpectedly, the warm, dry growing season for the vines produced grapes with high sugars and low acids. Unfortunately, the overall yield was negatively impacted, with
most varieties down between 10-20% of expected tonnage. Early November brought almost summer-like weather for more than a week, allowing us to finish up harvest with great picking conditions.
Specially selected grapes were harvested from the Montague vineyards in Four Mile Creek for this popular variety. Gently destemmed and crushed the grapes were fermented at an average temperature of 25 C with a total skin contact of 14 days before pressing . The wine was then transferred to new and older French and America barrels where the wine was allowed to age for 14 months before racking to a stainless steel tank.
The Montague Merlot delivers ripe fruit of black cherry and currant, with accents of toasted oak and a hint of spice. Firm tannins provide structure to this popular varietal with good balance and lots of layered fruit.