Noble Vines 181 Lodi Merlot
The 181 merlot clone traces its origins to Pomerol in Bordeaux, where it was valued due to its suitability to the red clay soils of the region. Clay soil retains water well and stays cool longer in spring, thus delaying bud break which is a desired outcome for Merlot. The red soils of our Clay Station Vineyard in Lodi are similar to the red soils in Pomerol, making 181 the perfect clone to grow rich, luscious merlot. The winemaking process for 181 Merlot begins in the vineyard, where the winemakers closely monitor the development of flavors and most importantly, the ripeness of the fruit.
When the grapes achieve optimal ripeness the grapes are picked at night and delivered to the winery cold. At the winery, the grapes are destemmed and sit in the tank for 24-48 hour, slowly warming up to proper fermentation temperature. This allows for a period of aqueous extraction before fermentation begins. After the grapes go through primary and malolactic fermentation, the wine is barrel-aged in a mix of French and American oak. Tasting notes 181 Merlot is a lavish expression of classic Bordeaux-style Merlot, bursting with plush tannins and sumptuous notes of black cherry, vanilla, stone fruit and toast. Flavors of currant and spicy cedar end with a lingering, luxurious finish.