WINEMAKER: Janet Myers
APPELLATION: Napa Valley
BRIX AT HARVEST: 24.0° – 25.0°
VARIETAL COMPOSITION: 100% Merlot
FERMENTATION: Pre-fermentation cold soak of 4 days to enhance color and body. Fermentation and maceration averaging 16 days to build structure and integrate mouthfeel.
RELEASE DATE: March 2013
Appearance: Rich garnet
Aromas: A richly expressive, yet vibrant mélange of bright fruit—juicy framboise, warm black plum, cassis, and ripe black cherry—draws you in, layered with sweet anise, vanilla, and subtle notes of cardamom and cola..
Flavors: Full and lush on the palate, the supple, fleshy mouthfeel will bring you back. A plush core of ripe Santa Rosa plum, black cherry, and blackberry is framed by rich mocha, vanilla, and anise with traces of tobacco and
sweet sage. Elegant and impeccably balanced with a dark cherry and vanillainfused finish.
Our goal with Merlot is to showcase the best of this noble and important Bordeaux variety. We start by sourcing fruit from our Oakville Estate, which provides body and structure—this gives our Merlot “big shoulders.” We then blend in fruit from vineyards in the cooler southern half of Napa Valley stretching from the Oakville District south to Carneros, in particular the renowned sub-district of Oak Knoll. From these vineyards the Merlot shows vibrant flavors, dense color, and supple texture. Each vineyard block is made separately, giving it the care and attention to reach its full expression. Together, the lots combine beautifully. Our Merlot is often called a Cab-lovers Merlot for its body and richness, a designation we are proud of.
2009 was the third straight year of low rainfall, with a mild summer free of any major heat spikes, and consistently cool night temperatures. These perfect growing conditions led to even ripening in our Bordeaux varietals, giving classic structure with rich, vibrant flavors. Warm stretches in both early and late September propelled the grapes to ripeness in an otherwise cool month. Merlot was harvested on our Oakville Estate between September 24 and October 9.