2015 Layne Merlot
Tasting Notes: This is a substantive, structured wine, with a classic profile. Flavors include anise, plum, and mint jelly, and it maintains an acidic backbone which guarantees that it will hold well under further aging. For now, it will benefit from a decanting and a pair well with a thick steak.
The Layne Vineyard sits at the end of a long driveway, following the Caris Creekdraw back into the hills above the Valley. Like many sites in the Applegate, you would never know that the vineyard existed, and yet, there it is, 35 acres of old vines, some of the very first planted in Southern Oregon.
Roger and Barrie Layne moved to the Applegate from California in the early 1970’s. Barrie hailed from Napa, but her family owned a dairy there, not grapevines. However, on their first visit to the Applegate, they met Dick Troon who, in 1972, had already planted 10 acres of grapevines. They decided to follow suit, and planted some of their own the following year, including Southern Oregon’s first Merlot vines.
Some of the very best and most popular wines we made while at Troon Vineyard were sourced from the Layne Vineyard, including the “Old Vine Meritage”, a Bordeaux blend from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It was the Old Merlot, the original vines planted at Layne, that held that blend together. The fruit from that block became available in 2015, and Roger Layne asked us to make a stand-alone Merlot. In concert with the Laynes, we decided to produce it and label it under the “Layne Vineyard” label. We also produced a Cabernet Sauvignon and yet-to-be released Chardonnay and Methode Champenoise from the vineyard.
AGING: Aged in 100% French Oak barrels, 25% new, 25% once-filled, 50% neutral. Lees stirred regularly throughout the first quarter.
TOTAL PRODUCTION: 120 cases
RELEASE DATE: Fall 2018
VARIETALS: Merlot (100%)
FRUIT SOURCES: Layne Vineyard
Produced and Bottled by Barrel 42