"Our Merlot is grown in estate-owned and grower-partner vineyards on the Napa side of Carneros, where the clay soils are similar to those of Bordeaux’s Right Bank. The cool climate allows the thin-skinned grapes to gradually develop flavor and tannin while retaining natural acidity.
Heavy rains in February led to a warm summer, which then turned cool in August, resulting in a later harvest than the last few years. What followed was a long warm fall with near-perfect growing conditions and extended hang time. In the end, it was one of the longest harvests on record and also above average crop size. Sustainable farming practices throughout the growing season were tailored to each block with the assistance of aerial photos produced using NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) technology. The fruit was hand-picked at night and sorted in the vineyard.
The grapes were carefully destemmed and optically sorted to ensure only perfect fruit made it into the wine. A cold soak extracted color and flavor. About 25% of the wine was barrel-fermented to provide a richer, more textured palate. The wine was gently basket-pressed before being racked to French oak barrels for aging.
Complex aromas of black cherry, ripe plum, and mocha intertwine with subtle notes of violet and mint. This medium-bodied wine is bursting with flavors of plums, red currant, and figs upfront, leading to juicy red fruit on the midpalate. The soft mid-palate finishes with fine, plush tannins highlighted by bright acidity."