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Pass Wines Merlot Sonoma Valley 2018  - ACME Fine Wines
$30 $33 750mL
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  •  
  • CountryUnited States
  • RegionSonoma County
  • Alcohol12%
  • Production75 cases
  •  

Pass Wines Merlot Sonoma Valley 2018

  • Vintage2018
  • VarietyMerlot
  • AppellationSonoma Valley
  • WinemakerRyan Pass

It is the dream of many young winemakers to foster their own brand, though the traditional path of purchasing a vineyard and estate has become increasingly unattainable due to inflated land prices and a general oversaturation of Napa Valley. Still, the determined always find a way, as is the case with winemaker Ryan Pass and his newly launched family brand, Pass Wines. Though still quite young in his career, Ryan has worked the last seven harvests at Farella Vineyard in Coombsville, one of the original family-owned estates in the AVA and the first estate to grow, and consequently champion, Cabernet Sauvignon in Coombsville. His mentor, Tom Farella, instilled in Ryan that winemaking can and should be more of an art, inspired by well-trained instincts and a watchful eye on the weather (they are both self-proclaimed weather nerds). This kind of philosophic training allowed Ryan to develop his winemaking skills beyond the ABCs of cellar and lab work. Instead, he’s grown to understand winemaking in more of a holistic sense which, in turn, gave him the confidence to launch his own brand. An old bottle of Farella Merlot was what initially attracted Ryan to his current position, and so it was without question that Pass Wines would launch with a house Merlot. 

The fruit for this wine is grown in loamy clay soils in the mouth of Sonoma Valley (if you're a local, you’ve most likely passed by this vineyard any time you headed out to Fremont Diner for your fried chicken fix.) The vineyard’s proximity to the cooling influence of the San Francisco Bay paired with its heavier soils is very well suited for the Merlot grape that thrives in these conditions. It is farmed organically by two friends, Shaunt and Diego of Les Lunes who, like Ryan, listen closely to nature’s cues and strive to allow maximum expression from each vineyard in each vintage. When calling his harvest date, Ryan was aiming for a perfect balance between optimal ripeness as well as sugar levels that would allow for a shockingly low alcohol content. The grapes were destemmed and fully crushed into an open top fermenter allowing native yeasts to kick start the fermentation. The cap was punched down twice a day, then the wine was pressed off its skins after 14 days once dry and transferred to neutral oak barrels. The wine was racked only once in the first spring after harvest and was bottled unfined and unfiltered on August 14th, 2020. The resulting wine is soft, subtle, and earthy with a lot of dusty fruit, strawberries, and cherries. The palate is smooth and finishes completely balanced, or as Ryan would say, “it is everything I want from a classic Merlot that tastes great now but will become more complex with age”. Only 12% abv and 75 cases produced.

  •  
  • CountryUnited States
  • RegionSonoma County
  • Alcohol12%
  • Production75 cases
  •