Fourth Wall - Merlot

Fourth Wall - Merlot

Regular price $35.00 $0.00 Unit price per


Vintage Alc/Vol RS pH TA
2021 12% <3.0 g/L 3.65 6.9 g/L


Exciting, bright aromatics that key in on those big Merlot markers: plum/plum pudding, black cherry, raspberry, vanilla, dark chocolate and walnut oil. Streaks of meat and menthol carry through the midpalate. Fleshy, round and robust, but still retains that local freshness to encourage your next glass.


85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon 

Winery & Winemaking Team

Riverview Cellars Estate Winery; Alyssa Bator and Nick Salvatore.

Vineyard Origins

The fruit comes from the home vineyard at Riverview Cellars Estate Winery, a long strip the begins close to the Niagara River itself and backs onto Concession 1. Overall, this growing area warms up relatively quickly. Merlot has always succeeded here, closest to the water itself, planted in 2001 on sandy loam. That water proximity cools the zone, retains freshness, and makes for a perennial winner. Merlot came in October 15th, 2021, in line with historical averages.

Behind the Music

I’ve been Merlot-Curious for a long time. Early ripening and often demonstrating a capacity to age here, there is the potential for a beautiful core of fruit that creates that ‘louder’ style. Soils are suitable and the results can hit you like a Cole Porter tune. Merlot hugs you in a warm sweater on a cold day. It’s big, but perhaps not a ‘bomb’ – generous is a better word. Multifaceted, well-concentrated, cerebral. It does everything so well, sorta like Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove. (I know, I know, enough with the comparisons…)

2021 was wet – not quite Biblical / Old Testament flooded, but let’s be honest, it was challenging to ripen as easily as 2020 did. The upside to wonderful sites like this is an early, advanced ripening period that allows Merlot to get ahead.

In the previous vintage, we experimented with small inclusions of Syrah, Malbec and Cab. This year, with less heat, only the lively and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon harmonized well in bench trials. Younger vines, but all from the same site and thus achieving Niagara River sub-appellation. The fruit is classic Merlot with the weight of a traditional cool climate Niagara red.

Overall, the gameplan for reds in 2021 was to destem, then ferment and macerate for about 12-14 days using conventional yeasts, usually in the mid-high 20s. Tonnage came in between 1.5 - 3 tons/acre. 225L French barrels were 4-8 years old. No modifications like chaptalizing or amelioration. Bottling was completed February 4th, 2022.