The 2013 Zayante Merlot is sourced from a dry farmed organic vineyard site which produces some of the best red grapes in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This Merlot has a concentrated dark garnet red core moving to pink hues on the rim. The nose displays notes of black cherry, blackberry and black plum with accents of leather, fresh tobacco leaf, violets, chai spices, coconut and turned earth. The palate is medium plus in body with a kiss of perceived sweetness to the fruit. Flavors on the palate confirm the nose with ripe fruit flavors of black plums, red currant, leather, tobacco, baking spices and damp earth flavors. This wine is delicious now, but young at this point and will really hit its stride about 2020. If drinking within the first 5 years, decant this wine for a minimum 1 hour and serve just under room temperature (around 60-65 degrees) in a large Bordeaux stem, and with food, ideally some red meat. Stop by the shoppers corner in Santa Cruz for a bone-in ribeye, serve it med-rare with a few bottles of this Merlot and you are in for a good night.
Located in the Upper Zayante area of the Santa Cruz Mountains and planted in 1988 on a southwest facing slope at 1,100 to 1,300 feet. The vineyard is own-rooted, dry farmed, and certified organic. Sandstone and loamy soils with plantings of Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbera and Grenache.
We consider Zayante Vineyard one of the most treasured partnerships. Greg Nolton is a very skilled farmer. His vines are dry farmed and everything is organic. Greg grows his vines using old world methods that many modern day vintners may frown upon, but for us it is magic. The wines come out so expressive of his site that it is quite stunning, and the dry farming leads to unparalleled intensity.