The 2012 Meritage really showcases the reason 2012 as a vintage is so highly acclaimed. It’s perfectly ripe, complex, deep and dark in color with vibrant fruit intensity that’s slightly juicy without being too jammy. Mother nature really tee’d up ideal growing conditions for us to produce this gem.Varietals: 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 25% Malbec. Aging: 22 months in 100% French Oak, 40% new. Production: 1175 cases
Arbor Bench Vineyards is a family-owned estate in the heart of the Dry Creek Valley just outside of Healdsburg. The Hart family has owned the property since 1984 and Duff Bevill has been farming it ever since. Duff is the guy to know in Dry Creek for farming, he’s been doing it for over 40 years with a focus on sustainable and organic growing methods that protect the watershed, wildlife and for us foodies, the Chinook salmon spawning that takes place at Lake Sonoma and requires Dry Creek as a conduit to the Russian River and ultimately the Pacific Ocean.
Chris Markell as winemaker brings a really critical talent to the team. Having worked at Clos du Val in Napa for years (and also around the world in Chile and Australia), Chris understands the critical relationship between quality farming and great winemaking. Chris produces wines at Arbor Bench that are full-fruited and robust yet have a gorgeously elegant texture on the palate. Chris’s wines have that balance of ripe fruit, judicious French oak integration and intense aromatics that showcase the varietal.
His winemaking style makes the Arbor Bench Vineyards wines incredibly open and accessible for drinking early but also have the stuffing to age gracefully in the cellar.