2012 W.S. Keyes Merlot 3 Bottle Gift Pack
Hello from Howell Mountain and from the historic W.S. Keyes Vineyard. I hope this letter finds you well and excited about the release of our 2012 vintage of the La Jota W.S. Keyes Merlot.
I have learned a lot about Merlot over the years. I have learned that in the right place there is no other variety that shows its pedigree better. I have learned that, more important than the vinification of the wine, the farming of the grapes affects the final outcome at a much greater percentage than for most of the other Bordeaux varieties. I have learned that to farm Merlot properly, one cannot use Cabernet Sauvignon as the model, as Merlot has different vine management requirements. All these nuggets about Merlot make our lives in the vineyard and in the cellar challenging in a way that both our vineyard staff and our cellar crew thrive on. And these nuggets ultimately ensure a wine that presents this incredible variety and the awesome terroir of Howell Mountain, and specifically the W.S. Keyes Vineyard, as one of the great Merlots of the world.
The 2012 vintage was no exception, though we had the added benefit of an almost perfect growing season. This vintage had a long, mild spring, only a couple of very short heat waves, and ideal growing temperatures. This allowed us to dial in the concentration of fruit on our Merlot vines, building that power you look for in W.S. Keyes. Because of the intrinsic power in the Merlot itself, you'll also recognize that the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon this year went down while still maintaining that weight and burst of flavor.
This is a Merlot for the ages and something that I am hopeful you will feel comfortable carrying in your cellar for 15 to 20 years. Thank you for your continued support of our wines and for your love of Merlot.