2018 Blacksmith Dry Creek Valley Merlot

New
2018 Blacksmith Dry Creek Valley Merlot

¥4,180 (incl. tax)

Fans of Blacksmith Cellars should be pleased with this new addition to our list: yet another great value in the form of a fabulously well-crafted wine from a beautiful vineyard in a top AVA. Like the Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, this Merlot comes from a single vineyard on the eastern side of the valley, where soils are thin and rocky. The winery’s notes on this wine say, “More suggestive of red currants than black in both scent and taste with a mannerly bit of grip, this Merlot is blended with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon which escorts it to a point where the blend is a balanced, nicely contained offering of medium weight. It is not a huge and intimidating wine, but it stays in focus with a clean fruit profile that is layered with a modest amount of supporting sweet oak that helps it on its way to a lingering, gently tannic finish, and it will competently turn the trick as an affordable partner to steaks and chops now and for the coming three or four years.”

 

Winery


Winery Description

Blacksmith Cellars is a 1,500 case winery that rests upon the vision, dedication and hard work of one man, Matt Smith. Passionate about both the science and art of wine, he approaches his craft in ways that seem simultaneously systematic and inspired. He makes his wines in a warehouse located on the grounds of the former Naval Air Station in Alameda - across the bay from San Francisco. Because he doesn’t own a patch of vineyard, he’ll make wine from whatever comes through his network of growers - or even the spot market. As a result, he’s sourced grapes from Mendocino, Alexander Valley, Oakville, Stags’ Leap, Lodi, and Monterey and has worked with a range of varieties - from the well-known (Cabernet, Chardonnay, Syrah, Grenache) to the underrated  (Barbera, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Blanc) to the obscure (Torrontes, Malvasia Blanca, Verdelho).

Originally from Virginia, Smith was studying Chemistry at Sonoma State University in the early 19990s when he was hit by the winemaking bug. A stint at Beaulieu Vineyards was followed by an enology degree at Fresno State and then being hired as assistant winemaker to Sam Dashe, a fellow “urban winemaker” who became an important mentor. Smith struck out on his own in 2004 with an Alexander Valley Cabernet. With that first wine, Sam established his method of doing all the jobs himself: tending the vines, picking, sorting, crushing, pressing, punching down, blending and bottling. From the start, Blacksmith Cellars has received critical accolades and plenty of fans, but the need to maintain control of his process and vision has restrained any temptation to grow the winery to beyond what Smith can do solo. Happily for us, he has also resisted the temptation to raise prices. From Blacksmith Cellars we can get an artisan product - delicious, well-made wine from top appellations at an affordable price.

 

About this Wine


Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Dry Creek Valley (Sonoma)
Winery Blacksmith
Vintage 2018
Color Red
Varietal(s) 90% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 7.5 x 30.0
Case Size 32.0 x 24.0 x 31.0
Alcohol 14.5%
Product Code BS18DCM

Production


Vinification

The grapes for this 90% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon were picked by hand and then hand sorted at the winery before crushing. The crushed fruit was cold-soaked for three days before fermentation in half-ton bins that were punched down by hand three times a day. 

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