2013 Merlot Ciel du Cheval, Red Mountain


The 2013 season was slightly warmer than normal during the spring and summer, but as autumn approached the temperatures cooled dramatically.  The day time temperatures fell to the lower seventies while night time temperatures were in the lower fifties. The cool weather slowed ripening allowing for plenty of hang time. As a result the grapes had time to develop rich, intense and complex flavors as well as substantial structure, while retaining their natural acidity.

Using grapes from a single clone of Merlot from a single block, the grapes were hand harvested and sorted. Following crushing 40% of the must was placed in wooden roller barrels for fermentation. The balance was placed in traditional open top fermenters. Following fermentation, the wine was placed in 40% new French Oak and aged for 22 months.


Deep ruby red color.  Aromas of  cherries, red currants and mocha. The palate is densely rich with red berry fruit as well as notes of  spice and tobacco leaf notes. Dense tannins with a long finish. 96 cases produced. 90 pts Vinous Learn more ...

Varietal100% Merlot
Varietal Composition100% Merlot FPS 03
AppellationRed Mountain
VineyardCiel du Ceval
Acid.59 g/l
Aging22 months in 40% New French Oak
Fermentation100% Open Top Fermenter
Wine StyleRed Wine
Volume750 ml

90 points, Vinous
By Stephen Tanzer

Full red-ruby. Very ripe aromas of sour cherry, redcurrant, menthol and mocha, with an obvious element of new chocolaty oak. The cherry quality carries through onto the rich, sweet palate, which shows spice and tobacco leaf notes and excellent concentration. A solidly built, structured Merlot with a firmly tannic, youthfully medicinal finish that calls for a couple years of patience.


2012 Production Team

A grower owned winery, Côtes de Ciel was founded in 2012 by the Holmes family of Ciel du Cheval Vineyards. At Côtes de Ciel, we believe that all wine starts its journey in the vineyard and moves through the winery. Throughout this process, many people make a significant contribution and impact on the wine. Below are a few of the key people that impacted the 2012 vintage.

Richard Holmes Winemaker
Ryan Johnson Vineyard Manger
Elizabeth Jones Assistant Vineyard Manager
Jim and Pat Holmes   Grapegrower
Charlies Hoppes Consultant - Winemaking
Mitch Venohr Consultant - WInemaking
Hilary Sojlund Consultant - Enology

2013 Merlot Ciel du Cheval, Red Mountain
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