Our View from the Edge

In the creation of Merriam Vineyards’ Bordeaux-style wines, blending is the most important practice after the wines have undergone fermentation. At Merriam Vineyards, wines benefit from the added complexity provided by sourcing diverse grapes from a number of premium Sonoma County vineyard sites. “Each grape variety is grown from differing terroirs and therefore brings a distinct flavor or mouthfeel to the finished wine,” says Peter Merriam. “For us blending is a spice rack, where we combine fruit, spice and color to create more dynamic wines. Blending allows us to include varying percentages of different varieties from diverse vineyard sites with the result being perfectly balanced wines where power is restrained by elegance.”

The Merriam winemaking team of Peter Merriam, Winemakers Margaret Davenport and David Herzberg and other members of the sales team gather to evaluate each individual blend four times a year. These roundtable-blending sessions consist of tasting each wine twice and making decisions about different cooperages, degree of toasts, color, flavors and varietal balance, among other important considerations. Once the final decisions are made, each wine goes back into barrel for the next six to twelve months prior to bottling, a process that encourages harmony in the finished wines.