Stag’s Hollow Winery Merlot 2020 and Dolcetto 2019

Do you prefer a softer, less tannic, red wine?  I usually think of Pinot Noir and Gamay Noir, but the two wines I recently tasted fit into that category from Stag’s Hollow Winery, a Dolcetto and a Merlot.  Dolcetto is known as a recommended pairing with pizza.  I think pasta in a tomato sauce would work.  Merlot typically has medium tannins, but Stag’s Hollow has given this one a lighter touch.  Let me tell you about them.  

My Wine Tasting Notes

Stag’s Hollow Winery Parsons Vineyard Merlot 2020 (BC $27)

Winemaker’s notes, “The fruit was hand-harvested, bunch sorted and destemmed. Approximately 75% of the berries were left whole and uncrushed. After a 3 day cold soak, the must was warmed and inoculated with selected yeast culture. The cap was punched down by hand 3 times daily and at the ideal tannin extraction, the must was drained of free run juice and the skins were lightly pressed. The wine continued its alcohol fermentation in French oak (40% new) through to dryness and then proceeded through Malolactic conversion. It was left to mature undisturbed for 18 months before being blended, lightly filtered and bottled.”

Appearance: A medium-plus mix of ruby and garnet colours. Clear to the core.
Nose: Light aromas of black fruit, plums, and touches of leather, sweet spices, oak, chocolate, and cedar. Slightly stronger, but still has quite light aromas as mentioned, with decanting. No chocolate scent.
Palate: Dry, light body.  Soft with a round silky mouthfeel.  Low acidity and imperceptible tannins. Black fruit, black plums and blackberry flavours plus hints of chocolate and black pepper.  With some swirl time, you get red fruit and raspberry flavours and the acidity bumps up a bit. A leaner mouthfeel with decanting.  Slightly stronger tannins.  I now pick up tart berry fruit flavours.
Finish: Medium length, with a touch of tannins.  Black fruit, plums and black pepper on the finish. About the same finish, but now with some added tartness with decanting.

I think the undecanted version is a bit nice.  More round, softer tannins, and stronger aromas.

Rating: 3.5 stars4 stars Clear to the core mix of ruby and garnet colours.  Light aromas of black fruit, plums and touches of leather, sweet spices, oak, cedar, and chocolate.  Dry, medium-minus body, silk soft.  Low acidity and light tannings.  Soft favours of black fruit, blackberries and plums and touches of black pepper and chocolate. Medium length with a touch of tannins, black fruits, plums, and black pepper.

Stag's Hollow Winery Dolcetto 2019 and Merlot 2020 with wines in glasses
Stag’s Hollow Winery Dolcetto 2019 and Merlot 2020 with wines in glasses

Stag’s Hollow Winery Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard Dolcetto 2019 (BC $25)

Winemaker’s notes, “Hand-harvested fruit from our Shuttleworth Creek vineyard was sorted, destemmed, lightly crushed and fermented in 1-ton open-topped fermenters, using selected yeast strains. The ferment was punched-down by hand 2-4 times daily, and then at the peak of fermentation, delestaged daily. The ferments were pressed off into concrete and stainless steel tanks, where they completed alcoholic fermentation, and then malolactic conversion. The wine aged gracefully here for 8 months, when it was finally racked and blended together. The wine was bottled after being stabilized and lightly filtered.”

Appearance: A medium-plus rub colour, clear to the core.
Nose: Very light aromas of red fruits, candied red fruits, a touch of cranberry and toast with air. Even lighter aromas after decanting.  Hints of candied red fruit and toast.
Palate: Dry, soft and round with a thicker mouthfeel.  Light-intensity flavours of sweet red cherries, lilac or violets,  candied red fruit, red liquorice plus blueberries and crisp red apple with air.  Medium acidity and light fine tannins.  More forward fruit flavours, red fruits and red cherries with decanting.  Still soft and round mouthfeel.
Finish: A medium-plus length finishing with lightly drying tannins, and flavours of sweet red candied fruit, red liquorice and crisp red apple. A tarter finish with red cherries on the finish with decanting.

A soft, delicate wine whether you decant it or not.  It is more your preference on the palate.  A bit more fruit flavour with decanting, but also a bit tarter flavours.

Rating: 3.5 stars4 stars Medium-plus translucent to the core ruby coloured.  A faint red fruit nose.  Dry, soft and round with medium acidity and a thicker mouthfeel.  Light flavours of sweet red cherries lilac or violets, candied red fruit and red liquorice which continue to the finish.  Medium-plus length. 

Where Can I Buy These Wines?

The wines can be purchased through the Stag’s Hollow Winery website:

Author: mywinepal
Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.