2018 Merlot, Testa

2018 Merlot, Testa Vineyard

Worthy of contemplation, slow-sipping and conversations deep into the night.


We’ve been making wines for nearly twenty years, but that doesn’t stop us from exploring our curiosities and continually making new wines! With much effort, a precious 25 cases were made just for our Connoisseur & Collector members (too little to share beyond them). This is our first vineyard designate Merlot from Maria Testa and Rusty’s vineyard. Fun fact: certified badass Maria Testa is the 4th generation in her family to farm these vines.

While many Merlots out there flaunt robust flavors and velvety texture, ours does no such thing. We have always been among if not THE first to pick at our vineyards and the Merlot is no exception. Our Merlot is worthy of contemplation, slow-sipping and conversations deep into the night. Our bittersweet thought is that so few cases exist, so we’ll enjoy them while we can.

Tasting Note: For those who seek the calm of the woods, you will love this wine. It carries the scent of rainy lichen and wet moss, citrus leaf and tangerine skins. This is not your dad’s Merlot, but he’d probably like it for other reasons. Enjoy slightly chilled with boquerones on toast, tinned fish, or classic sausage pizza.

  • Appellation: Mendocino
  • Vineyard: Testa
  • Varietal: Merlot
  • Age: Planted 1995
  • Elevation: 1300 ft.
  • Soil: Decomposed sandstone & Pinnobie loam
  • Harvested: September 13, 2018
  • Pressed: October 4, 2018
  • Fermentations: Wild yeast & bacteria in wood tank & neutral French oak barrels
  • Maceration: 21 days
  • Aging: 16.5 months in wood tank & neutral French oak barrels
  • Bottled: February 12, 2020
  • Production: 22 cases

Looking for older wines? We might have what you are looking for! Contact us at dgorders@donkeyandgoat.com or give us a call at 510-868-9174 and we will do our best to help.