In early, rarely seen glamour photographs by Bruno Bernard, known as Bernard of this Hollywood, you see a 20-year-old Norma Jeane with an eager smile and wide eyes, doing a pinup pose with a very un-pinup expression.
The color immediately impresses with rich dark purple hues. There is a wonderful complexity of aromas with raspberries and red cherries and added hints of dark chocolate, nutmeg and earthy herbal characters. The flavors mimic the aromas with added hints of vanilla and well integrated toasted oak. There is good structure, medium plus body, and is very nicely balanced as it glides over the palate with a pleasing, clean finish.
The grapes were harvested from the “Estrella Triangle” in the heart of the Paso Robles appellation. The vineyard is sustainable farmed and is 18 years old. For added complexity and depth, this year we blended in a little Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon, using grapes came from vineyards in close proximity and similar farming practices as the Merlot.
During the growing season, the Paso Robles AVA is typically sunny, with warm daytime temperatures. The temperatures drop nicely at night, and this offers the opportunity for great grape production. The harvest was a week to 10 days later than the last few years which was more like a normal harvest. Merlot was picked late September with the petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon harvested in early October and ahead of the early fall rains.