Oyster River Winegrowers, American Red Merlot 2022, Warren, ME
This cold-climate Merlot has aromas of plum, tomatoes, and tobacco. With light tannins, a light body, and low alcohol, it’s bright, fresh, and easy-drinking.
REGION: Grapes from North Fork of Long Island
VINIFICATION: Wild fermented, unfiltered.
COLOR: Deep purple ruby
BODY: Light bodied
PRIMARY AROMAS: Candied strawberry, fresh tomatoes, tobacco
FLAVOR: Plum, tomato, vegetal, bright acidity
FORMAT: 750 ml
SERVICE AND FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTION: Pair with pasta and any tomato-based sauce.
ABOUT THE WINEMAKER: Brian Smith
Brian Smith is the winemaker at Oyster River Winegrowers. He has a traditional education in winemaking from Fresno State University and uses that knowledge base to make distinct wines in ways that may have been common in pre-industrial times. He believes his role in the winemaking process to be more nature's assistant than winemaker.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER: Oyster River Winegrowers
"Our winery is very low-tech. We use no refrigeration in our winemaking process and our winery is just very gently heated through the winter with wood harvested from our farm. Most of our fermentations start spontaneously with native yeasts that occur on the fruit and in the cellar and play out over the course of several months. We add nothing and take nothing away from the natural chemistry of the fruit. No acidulation, deacidification, chaptalization, amelioration, tannins, enzymes, or yeast nutrients are used. All of our Ciders and our Sparkling Wines are bottled without the addition of any sulfites and are not filtered. Our still wines are minimally sulfated and filtered gently where necessary. Our farm supplies the fruit for Chaos, our homegrown traditional method sparkling wine, and a good portion of our Cider. In addition to these products, I enjoy making wines with grapes from other regions that inspire me."
The fruit and the farm:
"Our farm consists of small vineyards and orchards, pastures, and forests. The grapes we have planted are French-American hybrids and are planted densely at 6 feet by 6 feet. They are destined for our traditional method of sparkling wine. Our Cider apples are all grafted to standard Antonovka rootstock and planted 30 feet by 30 feet. Our vineyards are cultivated entirely with draft horsepower and by hand. Our horses cultivate in between the rows of grapevines, and we graze the orchard floor with our livestock. We use only organic management practices on our farm. To control pests (primarily fungus), we use plant-based teas and rock minerals with the intention of plant health. Healthy plants are resistant plants...and they make the best quality fruit. Farming without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers is the way of the Past AND the way of the Future. Our horses are pastured on an intensely managed rotational grazing program along with a family cow who supplies the fertility for the pastures, orchards, vineyards, and vegetable gardens in addition to milk, yogurt, cheese, and meat for our family. Our horses also help cut and rake hay for winter feed and haul firewood to heat our farmhouse and winery. We strive to have our farm be a self-sustaining ecosystem." (oysterriverwine.com)