Schmidt Family Vineyards 2012 Merlot, Applegate Valley, $34

schmidt-family-vineyards-merlot-2012-labelThere’s now a decade of age on these vines planted in Oregon’s Kubli loam soil by Calvin Schmidt as part of his original 12-acre project that’s grown beyond that. He and his children picked it at nearly 25 Brix then devoted two years of it to French oak (30% new barrels) before letting it bottle-age for 12 months. At this point, it’s showing an alluring nose of Baker’s chocolate, dark toast, black cherry, raspberry, Douglas fir, lime peel and crushed herbs. Those herbal notes peek out on the entry, followed by Rainier cherry and boysenberry flavors. Juicy acidity overtakes the tannins, leading to a finish of chocolate-covered pomegranate. The Schmidts enjoy their Merlot alongside a slab of their matriarch’s recipe for meatloaf.

Rating: Recommended

Production: 143 cases

Alcohol: 14.36%

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