Walking in the upper portion of the Merlot block we were very pleased how even and balanced everything looked. Our experience reminded us that these vines tend to bud early and this block and this particular grape is always a little prone to shatter, should bad weather occur during flowering. But this year was near perfect, and the warm mild spring weather allowed for the perfect set to occur. Ripe, round, supple with mature seeds and no green flavors, yet the acids were still balanced. It’s time to schedule our first pick of the 2012 vintage.