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Vintage 2015
Wine Type Red
Varietal Merlot
Region Napa Valley
Winemaker Christophe Paubert

Our Napa Valley Merlot is crafted with grapes from vineyards in the southern part of  Napa Valley (south of  Gamble Ranch in Yountville). 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. 

Tasting Notes

With freshness emphasizing its southern Napa origins, the 2015 Merlot combines dark juicy black cherry and macerated strawberry fruit with light fl oral violets side-by-side subtle hints of  caramel, cinnamon, clove and tobacco spice savoryness, imparted from the oak ageing. The generous fruit fl avors, polished structure, refreshing acidity, present tannins and plush texture show just how elegant Merlot can be. 

Vintage Notes

After three years of  plentiful harvests, the 2015 vintage resulted in a less abundant crop, but the quality remained exceptional. The mild, dry spring conditions promoted an early bud-break and minimal heat during summer allowed the fruit to ripen at a steady pace through picking, which began a few days earlier than 2014. The drier-than-normal conditions contributed to the smaller berry size and lower yields, resulting in wines with outstanding concentration and flavor. Despite all this, the overall 2015 vintage was ideal for producing an expressive and structured Merlot, resulting in wines with more concentration.

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.

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