Merlot, a noble Bordeaux variety took a bit of a shellacking after the movie Sideways painted the variety negatively. Consequently the price of merlot grapes fell to such a degree that a new wave of young winemakers have been able to experiment with the variety and the new clones that have come in from France. View Road Wines is one such winery that has started playing with the variety and regularly partakes in a merlot competition with a few other wineries. It is a great chance to catch up with like-minded makers to discuss our involvement and learn from each other. In 2014 we hand-picked on April 3rd and transported the grapes to the winery to be de-stemmed. The whole berries were allowed to ferment naturally and remained for 5 weeks on skins all sealed up in a picking bin before being pressed off to an old French oak.