2018 Merlot

2018 Merlot

92 Points in the Globe & Mail and Vancouver Sun

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Aromas of dark plums, red fruit and chocolate intermingle with eucalyptus and sweet baking spices in the glass. On the palate the acidity is fresh and well-integrated, and there are further notes of fig and violet on the finish with fine grained tannins.  

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It was an overall cooler vintage with a delayed start due to cool and wet weather. The vineyard caught up by mid-summer, just in time for the smoke to roll in in August and delay things with the blocked sunlight. That said, we are incredibly pleased this was the only impact of the smoke on our vineyard. We intentionally left leaves on all the vines throughout the smoke risk period in case there were soot issues, but due to the fantastic air movement on our site no soot settled on the fruit. Thanks to a lovely fall with lots of sunlight and little rain, the fruit was beautifully ripened on schedule with harvest beginning in October and completed by November 5th.


Harvest of our four estate vineyard blocks of Merlot began on Oct. 12, 2018. Blocks were harvested individually, broken into small batches, cold soaked on the skins for 4 days and fermented for an additional 21 days on the skins in tank with twice daily pump overs. The resulting individual wines were aged for 18 months in 30% new French oak and blended prior to being bottled, unfiltered.

Vintage: 2018
Alcohol %: 14.5
Titratable Acidity:  6.5 g/L
Residual Sugar: 2.4 g/L
PH: 3.67


Anthony Gismondi, Vancouver Sun - 92 Points "This wine has always been a bit hedonistic, even given its Bordeaux tilt, but it has another level of elegance that belies the variety. In this case, the secret sauce might be the Okanagan and its combination of freshness and savoury notes. Many will love the rich, showy notes and, frankly, the alcohol, but others will focus on its charm and mouth appeal. Drink or hold, it will serve you well in either case."

Christopher Waters, Globe & Mail - 92 Points "Painted Rock has established itself as one of the Okanagan's most ambitious estate wineries, producing a range of small batch wines from its vineyards overlooking Skaha Lake in Penticton. This merlot from the 2018 vintage is developing nicely, with a rope core of berry and plum fruit flavours that are nicely layered with cedar, spice and savoury notes. The winery's style has always focused on delivering ripeness and refreshement, which makes this flavourful and pilished red an attractive style to enjoy now or later. Drink now to 2030."

David Lawrason - 92 Points "There is a sense of grace to this merlot, despite its size. The nose is a bit reserved with very well integrated berry/plum fruit, florals, fine cedar and spice - mainstream merlot aromatics but very well knit. It is medium-full bodied, with great B.C. acidity creating a sense of cohesion on the palate, although alcohol does a gentle burn, and the fine tannins dry the finish. The length is excellent. Best 2023 to 2030."


Awards for past vintages:

2017 Merlot - Top 10 Merlot's in Canada - WineAlign's Guide to Canada's Best Wines
2016 Merlot - 92 Points, David Lawrason, WineAlign
2015 Merlot - Gold Medal, Wine Align National Wine Awards of Canada 2019
2014 Merlot - Silver medal, InterVin International Wine Awards
2013 Merlot - Silver medal, Wine Align National Wine Awards of Canada 2017
2012 Merlot - Silver medal, 2014 BC Wine Awards
2007 Merlot - Best of Varietal & Gold Medal, 2010 BC Wine Awards

Media for past vintages:
2015 Merlot - 95 Points, John Schreiner 2013 Merlot – King of Sweden tries Painted Rock Merlot: National Post
2013 Merlot - "I really enjoyed this Merlot tasted in a lineup against several other locals..." Anthony Gismondi, 91 Points The Vancouver Sun
2012 Merlot: 16.5 Points awarded by Richard Hemming: www.jancisrobinson.com