Vintage 2017
Wine Type Red
Varietal Merlot
Region Napa Valley
Winemaker Christophe Paubert

This expressive Merlot showcases the varietal’s ability to excel in Napa Valley with its generous, juicy fruit flavors, intriguing tobacco spice notes and polished structure. It’s incredibly pleasurable and complex with black cherry and strawberry with notes of caramel and cinnamon that persist through the long finish. The wine has depth and nuance with smooth tannins and a lush, lovely texture

Tasting Notes

With freshness emphasizing its southern Napa origins, the 2017 Merlot shows tons of juicy black cherry and dark plum fruit alongside sarsaparilla notes of vanilla, caramel and allspice, giving a rich warmth to the nose. Savory, sweet herbal elements, (almost Jägermeister-like), of cherry kirsch, bittersweet chocolate, black licorice, cola and chaparral floral blossom, thyme, mint and rosemary, also sit alongside sweet baking spice notes, imparted from the oak ageing. The palate is fleshy, rich and full, with mouthwatering fruit flavors, polished structure, refreshing acidity, and soft, fine-grained, velvety tannins, leading to a lengthy silky finish, exhibiting a well-balanced wine that shows the true elegance of Merlot. 

Vineyard Notes

Our Napa Valley Merlot is crafted with grapes from vineyards in the southern part of Napa Valley. Fruit from Oak Knoll makes up most of the blend, with the remaining fruit is sourced from the Oakville appellation as well as our very own Stags Leap District.  Merlot can lose its varietal identity when exposed to too much heat, but the fruit from these select southerly vineyards exhibit varietal expressions of fresh fruit character, structure, and bright acidity. 

Vintage Notes

The 2017 vintage in the Napa Valley was smaller yielding but high in quality. The region enjoyed much needed rain during the winter months ending the drought. A short period of warmer than usual temperatures during Labor Day weekend accelerated harvest for early ripening grapes varieties, resulting in an intense and, at times, unpredictable harvest.  Though yields were lower than usual, the wines show exceptional flavor intensity and conditions were perfect for producing a wine with beautiful fruit as well as tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity.

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 19 months. The new oak imparts structure, ageability, and a slight spice complexity that still allows the fresh fruit flavors to take center stage.

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