RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
McIlroy Family established Aquarius Ranch in 1972. The vineyards
are on Westside Road in the Russian River Valley, Sonoma County.
It is called Aquarius Ranch because in the winter, while the vines
are dormant, they are often under several feet of the flooding Russian
River. The well-drained soil and cool microclimate are ideal for
growing Merlot grapes
1999 growing season was marked by a late start. The Merlot set a
nice crop and the grapes developed under near perfect conditions.
The fall was quite cool and the grape quality was excellent. The
final wine is rich and elegant.
1999 Merlot grapes were harvested at the crack of dawn and retained
the morning freshness. The average sugar content was 24.5 degees
brix. The grapes were immediately crushed and pressed and cold soaked
for twenty-four hours to enhance color and flavor development. The
must was fermented (open top fermentors) for seven days. The wine
was then pressed and settled in stainless steel tanks for five days.
At this time the wine was racked into 60 Gallon French Oak Barrels
and aged for fourteen months.
wine has a medium-deep ruby hue with aromas of berries, spices,
and toasty oak. Medium bodied with layers of chocolate, cherries,
currants, and clove. The long finish is has notes of blackberries,
toasted vanilla, and a hint of coffee.
gram per 100 ml
months (60 gal. French oak)
Russian River Valley