Once & Future 2021 Merlot, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Carneros

Once & Future 2021 Merlot, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Carneros

Item Number: 19464

UPC: None

Country: USA
Region: California
Sub Region: Napa Valley
Appellation/AVA: Los Carneros
Estate Grown Wine: No
Vineyard Designation: Sangiacomo Vineyard
Vintage: 2021
Grape(s): Merlot
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Pack: 12
Closure: Cork
Alc by Vol(%): 13.1
Total Acidity: 6.2 g/L
pH: 3.43
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Soil Type: Shallow gravel clay-loam
Case Production: 126

Grower Notes: "Without the Sangiacomo family, it is unlikely I would have achieved the success that I have. In 1981, they gave the fledgling Ravenswood shelter in an old steel building they owned at the end of Broadway in Sonoma. They were benevolent landlords, to say the least. Ange, Bob, Buck, and Lorraine. What a special crew. They developed what was once a pear orchard into a thriving, highly regarded Carneros vineyard. Ange’s kids are now in charge. Mike, Steve, Mia, and her husband are the next generation of special community-minded people to build and keep the vineyard business healthy." - Joel Peterson

Tasting Notes: The 2021 Sangiacomo is a flavorful expression of Carneros cool-climate Merlot. Notes of cedar, sweet mulberries, dark cherries and hints of mint in the aromatics and flavor lead to a surprisingly full mouthfeel and soft round finish considering the relatively low alcohol of this wine. If all Merlots were more like this, they would be very popular indeed.

Vintage Notes by Vinous 1/2023: “The 2021s are brilliant across the board, as readers will see in the accompanying tasting notes. The Zinfandels from Bacigalupi, Green & Red and Teldeschi are all notable, as is the Merlot from the Sangiacomo family's Kiser ranch in Carneros. Once & Future is exactly what the name suggests – rooted in the past yet forward-looking. Quite simply, the 2021s are compelling.”

About Sangiacomo Vineyard: This block, formerly 13-year-old Riesling vines, was budded to Merlot in 1987 and interplanted to reduce spacing in 1991. The soil is shallow gravel clay-loam, which is ideal for Merlot. Originally, the trellis was a bilateral cordon vertical shoot position set-up. Due to the timing of the Carneros winds, which are frequently coincident with flowering and fruit set, a great deal of shatter resulted in very low crop levels. In some years, this imparted a fairly strong jalapeño character to the grapes. To combat this, the Sangiacomos have added an additional fruiting cane to the system, which increases the crop, bringing it into balance with the canopy and providing more harmonious ripe flavors. The combination of soil, trellising, crop, and canopy management, along with the cool Carneros climate, produces some of the most delicious Merlot in California.


  • Vinous
    Rating: 96 (1/15/2023)

    The 2021 Merlot Sangiacomo Vineyard is magnificent. In fact, the 2021 is one of the best vintages of this wine I can remember tasting, going back to the Ravenswood days. Low yields in 2021 and improvements in farming are among the factors that contribute to the wine's character. Deep and explosive, the 2021 possesses tremendous richness and power to burn. It's an especially savory Merlot that captures the essence of Sonoma Valley. Sweet floral accents lift the finish effortlessly.