2019 Carretto Merlot
Although 2019 was a rainy and cool year reduced crop yields for whites enabled some very good quality fruit. Grapes like Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer fared well. Rains lessened later in the season. It was a season where all varieties stayed on the vine longer than usual to balance PH, Acidity, and Brix. In the fall there was an unusual early frost that hit the later maturing grapes increasing sugar levels. Good or fair would be an accurate assessment with some interesting characters for the fruit.
The 2019 Carretto Merlot is a great example of the potential for premium Merlot in Ontario. It showcases the variety’s characteristic ruby colour and offers rich notes of red plum, black cherry, and raspberry, along with more complexities of thyme, dark chocolate, baking spice, and ample vanilla, resulting from barrel aging. The palate is medium to full bodied and shows very similar flavour descriptors to the nose. Although the tannins are still youthful and provide structure, they are also silky smooth and seem to melt in your mouth. In contrast, this wine’s cool climate acidity helps to bring out more freshness and fruitiness that keeps it very approachable and crowd pleasing.
Appellation: VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake
Blend: 100% Merlot
Oak Aging: 19 months French Oak
Alcohol: 14.5% ABV
Residual Sugar: 1.5 g/L