TASTING NOTES & FOOD PAIRINGS
Fragrant aromas of ripe black cherry, plum compote, blackcurrant and herbal spice introduce the lush red and black cherry, raspberry, and black plum flavors of this remarkably sumptuous merlot. Mouth-filling and deeply concentrated on the palate, it is perfectly balanced by bright acidity and supple, fine-grained tannins, culminating in a long, spicy, cherry-laced finish. Enjoy this delicious merlot now or age it another 5-7 years to fully savor its developing complexity.
Nearly 60% percent of the grapes for our 2014 Napa Valley Merlot come from our estate vineyards, with the majority from our Suscol Springs Vineyard in southeastern Napa Valley. Suscol Springs is a hilly, rocky, cool-climate site with well-drained volcanic soils and a desirable southern exposure. These conditions yield merlot grapes with rich varietal flavors, bright, lively acidity, and fine structure for aging.
2014 was another in a series of excellent vintages in northern California. After a rainy February, which rejuvenated the vines, a warm, dry spring led to early bud-break, flowering and grape set. Summer was consistently mild with few heat spikes, allowing our merlot grapes to ripen slowly and evenly while developing impressively concentrated flavors.
We ferment our various lots of merlot in a mixture of small closed and open-top stainless steel tanks, pumping the fermenting juice over the 'cap' of skins and other solids that form at the top of the tank to fully extract color, flavor and tannin from the skins. Once fermentation completes, we transfer the new wines to carefully selected French oak barrels (38% new in 2014), where they age six months before being blended. After blending, our 2014 Merlot spent an additional eleven months in barrel prior to bottling.
- Grape Variety
- 94% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Alcohol Content
- Napa Valley, 58% estate
- Total Acidity
- 0.71 grams/100 ml
- Harvest Dates
- September 6 - 24, 2014
- Barrel Aging
- 17 months in French oak barrels, 38% new
- Julianne Laks