Vintage 2016
Wine Type Red
Varietal Merlot
Winemaker Christophe Paubert

Sourced solely from its namesake, block number 20, located within our estate vineyard, this singular stretch of land sits in the middle of the property where heat exposure is moderate and soil conditions are rich.

Tasting Notes

This vibrant Merlot is full of fresh Bing cherry, raspberry and ripe plum notes on the nose, while savory earthy aromas inspired by the estate terroir come through in the secondary aromas offering dried chaparral herb spices, camphor and cocoa nib – also influences from the well-integrated French oak barrels. A true example of how Merlot can shine in Napa Valley, there is brightness, focus and balance while backed up by the smooth, rich, velvety texture, layered with red fruits interwoven with power, depth, and complexity. This sophisticated and elegant Merlot is the Audrey Hepburn of wine – a classic, finishing gracefully and long with fine grained tannins and everlasting flavors showing the beauty of our estate fruit.

Vineyard Notes

This 2016 vintage marks the eighth release of our Block 20 Estate Grown Merlot, which is sourced solely from its namesake, block number 20, located within our estate vineyard. This singular stretch of land sits in the middle of the property where heat exposure is moderate and soil conditions are rich. The resulting crop is very low and perfectly balanced, making this unique production a small lot of wine that offers remarkable depth and concentration.

Vintage Notes

The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, right around Labor Day, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended mild season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Considered a perfect harvest and a winemaker’s dream vintage, conditions were perfect for producing a Merlot with beautiful fruit as well as tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity.

Winemaking Notes

In order to demonstrate the authentic fruit expression of this unique Merlot block, Winemaker Christophe Paubert utilizes traditional winemaking techniques with a minimal intervention approach. The grapes from this singular lot are handpicked and undergo a three week maceration period, designed to extract flavor, color and tannin from the skins. This Merlot is aged in 100% French oak barrels, with a mix of 67% new and neutral oak, for 19 months.

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