2017 Star Lane Merlot, Star Lane Vineyard
The first wet winter in years produced excellent early canopy growth. However late winter and
early spring were warm and dry, initiating a 5th consecutive early bud break. With limited
rainfall after February, vine vigor remained in check as fruit set, an excellent condition for
Bordelaise varietals. Overall the season was consistent with long-term historical average
temperatures right up until harvest. Heat in early September pushed parts of the vineyard
along but generally, temperatures were even and avoided extremes. This permitted an even and
consistent approach to harvest and unveiled wines with terrific depth. Even with a wet winter,
yields were quite low; wines quite concentrated and expressive.
2017 was an excellent growing season with moderate temperatures and healthy winter rain.
However, the vintage will likely be remembered for its heat during harvest, which impacted our
coastal vineyards more than Star Lane. The fruit from Star Lane did see more heat than recent
vintages and early impressions suggested fruit would be forward. As a result, we were careful with
how tannin developed in the wine and used a bit less new oak.
2017 Star Lane Vineyard Merlot is a wine that will reward some patience. The texture begins with a lighter elegance but shifts to
reveal its breadth and weight, not to mention finishing structure, as one sits with the glass. While Merlot can often have a more
obvious charm than its Cabernet Sauvignon cousin, this vintage begs for time and thought - providing an intellectual reward to
its up-front hedonism.