2008 Les Collines Merlot
Walla Walla Valley
Appelation: Walla Walla Valley
Vineyards: 100% Les Collines Vineyard
Blend: 100% Merlot.
Oak Program: 18 Months in 56% French; 38% American; and 6% E. European oak barrels; (60% new oak).
Harvested: September 27, 2008
Bottled: April 15, 2010
Brix: 25.6 Brix
Acidity: 0.64 g/100ml
Production: 127 Cases
Winter 2007/2008 was warm in the Walla Walla Valley, resulting in an April bud break for the Merlot grapes. The warm spring encouraged growth and a perfect berry set. Summer was very hot and dry, resulting in an early harvest that produced fruit with excellent sugar levels (25.6 Brix). The excellent growing conditions and the rich soils of the Les Collines Vineyards produced a complex Merlot wine that has outstanding fruit concentrations.
The hand picked grapes from the vineyards were gently de-stemmed and crushed. The grapes were then fermented in half-ton open topped fermentation bins at an average must temperature of 89°F for 10 days. For added complexity, two yeast strains were used for fermentation. The grape must cap was punched down by hand several times a day. At dryness, the grape must was lightly pressed into a settling tank to reduce sediment. The wine was then put directly into 225 liter oak barrels where malolatic fermentation was completed. The wine received a total of four rackings and was not filtered prior to bottling.
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Fort Walla Walla Cellars 2008 Les Collines Merlot from the Walla Walla Valley is elegant. Dark and rich in color, the wine provides a smooth mouthful of mocha scented cherry and plum currents, shaded with light tobacco flavors. It’s a balanced full-bodied Merlot with mild overlays of vanilla–laced oak and soft tannins that provide a wonderful finish! Drink from late 2011 to 2016.