The son of Italian immigrants, Elso’s love for wine began on his family’s vineyard in Zoppola, Fruili Italy. In the early 1970s, Elso purchased 11 acres of vineyard in the Russian River Valley, where he meticulously tended the grapes. In the late 1990s, Elso traveled back to the old country, where he removed cuttings from his family’s historic block, smuggling them back in his suitcase, then grafting them to his Santa Rosa vineyard. Though Elso passed away just after the 2020 vintage was harvested, his spirit lives on in his grapes, which are now lovingly farmed by his two sons. This 100% Merlot is the way Merlots used to be before they were mass prodeuced and homogenized–a Cab drinker’s Merlot worthy of its bordeaux origins. Enticing the senses with subtle mint, plum compote aromas, and flavors of dusty blackberry fruit laced with herbs and truffles, while drenched in a stout Irish black tea. It finishes long and soft, creamy and dry. We enjoy it with grilled steak, Beef Stroganoff, Beef Bourguignon, or by itself.