The grapes for Meritage are hand-harvested and sorted then gravity fed to tank where it undergoes a cold maceration for 4-5 days. The grapes are then fermented entirely in stainless tanks at no more than 81° F. After alcoholic fermentation, an extended post maceration allows for additional body and structure. Afterwards, malolactic fermentation in barrel softens the wine by removing malic acid. The resulting wines are aged in French oak barrels for 9 months before blending and bottling.
2012 was another excellent and more normal vintage in Washington State, a welcome change after the cooler and wetter 2010 and 2011 vintages. The La Nina current brought warmer and more even spring and summer temperatures and an extended warm, dry autumn with perfect 80 to 85 Fahrenheit afternoon highs and 40 to 50 Fahrenheit lows without rain. The result was great set that yielded ripe, disease free fruit with good natural acidity. The resulting wines reflect the excellent qualities of the fruit and are a pleasure to drink. Probably one of the top 5 vintages Ive been associated with in Washington State.
Sweetening the tongues for centuries, chocolate and red wine has been the most reliable pairing in history. Chocolate Shop takes this pairing to the next level, marrying chocolate flavor with red wine to create a sumptuous drink. We start with a proprietary red blend of the finest vinifera varietals, add a touch of oak and a kiss of sweetness to create the perfect fruit-driven foil for the rich dark chocolate which unfolds in silken layers across the palate.