Harvest 2019 commenced at Crown Point on September 12. Since then, we have picked just over 10 tons of Merlot from 3 different hillside blocks that are planted in steep gravelly loam along the southwest-facing spine of the property.
Of the more than 100,000 individual vitis vinifera vines planted at Crown Point, over 16,000 are Merlot making it the 2nd most planted grape (behind Cabernet Sauvignon) on the estate. In Bordeaux, Merlot is the most widely planted variety- due to its versatility and compatibility on the Left Bank, as well as its ability to stand alone in some of the world’s most profound wines on the Right Bank.
Since 2014, the diverse clonal selections of Merlot planted at Crown Point, abundant with character and charm, have been a critical component in the portfolio’s flagship cuvée: Estate Selection.
On the whole, fruit quality across the entire estate looks to be exceptional and in line with the stellar 2014, 2016, and 2018 vintages. We are seeing very little shatter and/or shot berries, and the berry size is consistent throughout the clusters, which ensures even ripening. A brief heat spike got the sugars moving along last week, but the daytime highs have tapered off a bit and the evening oceanic breezes continue to create the perfect climate for growing Bordeaux varieties.
It must be said that this is this time of year where our appreciation for all of the people who dedicate themselves to the year-round wine growing on the estate cannot be overstated. Our vineyard team at Crown Point, many of whom have been with us since 2013, is unparalleled in their attention to detail and work ethic. We are so thankful that this tightly knit crew, which is made up of mothers, fathers, cousins and friends are on this journey with us which is Harvest 2019.