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Cannonball Sonoma County Merlot 2019

Built to be simple and cheery, perfect for wine virgins
  • $50.00

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Black Fruit, Herbal, Red Fruit, and Pepper / Spice,

BODY: Medium +
Pronounced (12-14%)

Origin: California (Napa, Sonoma, Russian River Valley & More), United States of America

Grape Varietals:


Maturation: Oak Barrels


Red meats, duck, meatball marinara

Roast duck rice, meat dumplings, Braised pork


Cannonball Sonoma County Merlot 2019

Built to be simple and cheery, at a solid price point, this wine is simple and soft, perfect for wine virgins.


Grape varietal and regionWe find that Merlot expresses its most appealing varietal character when grown in regions that experience warm afternoon temperatures balanced by cool nights and mornings. California’s Mendocino County has a rugged coastline and highlands that offer a generous range of soils and exposures in which to cultivate Merlot.

The structure and framework of this wine was constructed from the Mendocino components while the lush, full-body is attributable to our fruit sourced from a bit further inland, almost directly to the east in Clarksburg in Yolo County. Clarksburg boasts young clay soils, warm afternoons, and cool delta breezes that ripen berries to decadent richness.

Taste profile: This bottle has a medium ruby colour and eludes a bouquet of cherry and black tea. Subtle sweet vanilla French oak and a blueberry compote note accent the taste. The palate is generous and soft on approach, leading with supple cherry fruit and transitions to richer boysenberry flavours on the mid-palate. It has medium-firm tannins, caramel and notes of pepper. The vintage’s fresh acidity lends structure to this silky Merlot, leaving a lingering, savoury finish.

Winemaking process: Merlot is surprisingly fragile and requires thoughtful handling in the cellar. Early morning harvest is followed by partial crushing of grapes and a three day cold soak to extract color and structure up-front. At the end of the cold soak the tanks are warmed and inoculated with our select yeast strains to initiate a short, minimally handled fermentation. We generally prefer to pull Merlot off skins just prior to dryness to allow the fermentation to finish in oak or tank in the absence of its skins and seeds which may break down toward the end of fermentation. Minimal introduction of oxygen is desired and great care is taken to preserve the fruit forward notes. French oak aging is employed utilizing about 20% new oak which enhances the underlying structure and offers a framework for the fruit, contributing a caramel-laced note that weaves through the fruit, earth, and mineral aspects of the wine.

 Since this is the Olympics season, the Cannonball logo reminds me of amazing (and really hot) athletes like Tom Daley - may you be as amazing as him after this bottle.