94 Points - Wine Enthusiast, Dec 2015
Dating back to the Spanish Land Grant, the Zabala family have been stewards of the same ranch for seven generations. The wind-blown property encompasses much of the Arroyo Seco "Riverbed" and is known for its rocky and gravelly soil-types. Vines were first planted in 1972, and the vineyard is home to many grape varietals, including various plantings of Pinot Noir.
Hand-harvested in early October, three different clones were selected from the vineyard’s South Pointe block, a rock-strewn locale adjacent to the region’s seasonal creek. At the winery, fruit was gently crushed and de- stemmed, with the resulting must racked to macro-bins. Allowed to cold soak for two days the juice was inoculated with yeast strain RC212 (a yeast isolate from Burgundy). A 12-day fermentation and extraction period ensued with manual punch-downs employed to re-engage skin-to-juice contact. Once pressed the wine was transferred to French oak barrels where it spent eleven months before being bottled on September 26, 2013.
A barrel selection of nine distinct barrels, this wine showcases the dense, juicy berry-nature of Pinot Noir grown on the Zabala ranch. Aromas of black berries and cherry mingle with notes baking spices, violets and earthy-mineral tones. Richly textured, firm tannins enhance the fruit favors on the palate and melt away as part of the long finish.
Vineyards: Zabala Vineyard
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Clones: 15% - Pommard Clone 4
45% - “Dijon” Clone 115
40% - “Dijon” Clone 667
Harvest: October 9, 2012
Aging: French Oak, 22% New Dargaud Jaegle, Francois Freres & Mercurey
Bottled: September 26, 2013
Production: 219 cases
Mercy Vineyards is the fruition of friendships. Vintners Mark Dirickson and Mike Kohne have known one another for over a decade and have, collectively, been in the wine industry for over 45 years. Their experiences lead them to believe that the regional aspects of the Arroyo Seco AVA make it one of world's ideal growing regions for the wines they produce. Sourcing idyllic fruit, the wines are vinified by Mark and Mike's long-time friend and distinguished winemaker Alan Phillips. Produced in small lots, Alan employs classical winemaking techniques to help enhance the overall character of the Mercy wines.
More at www.mercywines.com.