Fruit for this Reserve Sonoma Valley Merlot is grown exclusively in their Certified Sustainable Estate Behler and Wild Oak Vineyards. These vineyards are both relatively well protected from extreme weather patterns such as excessive heat and wind. This protection allows for slow and even ripening throughout the growing season resulting in fruit with great color and deep flavors. After hand-sorting, the grapes underwent a four-day cold soak to extract optimal color and flavor. For added depth and complexity, we blended in a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cab Franc. The selected lots are fermented separately in stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new for 20 months. Robert Parker scored this 94+ and said "The opaque purple 2013 Merlot Reserve spent 20 months in French oak. It has slightly more wood and tannin than its sibling, but wonderfully rich, concentrated, dark black cherry and blackcurrant fruit, stunning concentration, and world-class quality. What is so noticeable in this line-up of St. Francis wines is how much better the oak is integrated than it was 10 or 15 years ago. This wine will benefit from 5 years of cellaring and last three decades." Very Limited!