Vintage 2013
Wine Type Red
Varietal Merlot
Region Napa Valley
Winemaker Christophe Paubert

Established  in  1893,  Stags’  Leap  Winery  is  one  of  the  oldest  wine  estates  within  the  acclaimed Stags Leap district, producing wines expressive of its unique terroir. With an enduring  winemaking  philosophy  of  minimal  intervention,  and  by  using  the  finest  grapes  from  our  own  80-acre  vineyard  and  from  quality-focused  growers,  Stags’  Leap  wines embody a natural balance, exhibiting both intensity and finesse.

91 Points - Gismondi on Wine

“When everything is perfect in California you can get merlot like this, but it is rare. Rich, savoury and structured, it draws you into the glass with quiet confidence and floral, mineral notes. Plum and raspberry mark the nose, mixed with dried herbs, cedar and a wisp of oak before fairly substantial, dense, tannins fill in the back end. More St. Emilion than Napa, this will need five years of cellar time to reach its zenith. A great demonstration of the power and the finesse of the 2013 vintage.” - Anthony Gismondi, August 2017

Tasting Notes

With freshness emphasizing its southern Napa origins, the 2013 Merlot combines juicy dark cherry, plum, and pomegranate with subtle notes of cinnamon, clove and cocoa. The generous fruit flavors, polished structure, silky tannins and lush texture show just how complex and refined Merlot can be.

Vineyard Notes

The  Napa  Valley  Merlot  is  crafted  with  grapes  from  vineyards  in  the  southern  part  of  Napa Valley.  Fruit from Oak Knoll makes up the majority of the Merlot blend, with the remaining  fruit  sourced  from  the  Stags’  Leap  estate  and  Oakville.    Merlot  can  lose  its  varietal identity when exposed to too much heat, but the fruit from these select southerly vineyards exhibit fresh fruit character, structure and bright acidity.

Vintage Notes

The 2013 vintage began with a warm, dry spring that brought early bud break and created ideal  conditions  for  flowering  and  fruit  set.  With  no  surprises  throughout  the  growing  season,  temperatures  were  consistently  favorable  and  even,  resulting  in  notably  healthy  vines as fruit went through veraison and started ripening. The overall dry season made for an early and condensed harvest, and was ideal for producing an expressive and structured Merlot. 

Winemaking Notes

The  grapes  for  this  Napa  Valley  Merlot  underwent  a  2-3  week  maceration  period  designed  to  extract  ideal  flavor,  color  and  tannin  from  the  skins.  Using  traditional  winemaking techniques, Winemaker Christophe Paubert aged this Merlot in high quality French  oak  barrels  (35%  new)  for  16  months.  This  deliberate  lesser  percentage  of  new  oak imparts structure, ageability and a slight spice complexity to the wine that still allows the fresh fruit flavors to take center stage.

Varietal Composition: 94% Merlot, 4% Malbec, 2% Petite Sirah
ABV: 14.1%