2016 TEXTBOOK Vineyards Merlot
Napa Valley

90 POINTS - BEST OF THE YEAR ISSUE - Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Textbook Rutherford Merlot

  • Superb sites in the renown Napa Valley AVA highlight the world-class pedigree of this release
  • Classic Bordelaise winemaking (handwork in Napa Valley vineyard, modest use of new French oak barrels, egg-white fining) partnered with a touch of Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon provides a richly textured and balanced result.

Price: $27 per bottle


"Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Merlot opens with plums and pronounced herbs notions with a waft of roses. The medium-bodied palate has pleasant black fruit and herbal accents with soft, rounded tannins and a refreshing finish. Displays finesse and flavor."
- Robert Parker

"Made in a balanced and graceful style, this light-bodied red comes from vineyards in both Oak Knoll and Oakville. Tart cherry, plum and coconut shavings are supported by light oak and firm tannins. The finish is complex and spicy."
- Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Best of the Year 2017 Download Flyer


Vintage 2016 gave us few weather challenges, which was nice after a rough 2015. 2016 started out a tad wet but sunshine arrived at flowering and the set was good. Summer saw sustained warmth with a bit of rain and led to an even harvest. Our 2016 Napa Valley Merlot yields were about average and the tiny berries were deeply colored, richly textured and showed great promise from the get-go.


Originally brought to the United States in the 1850’s from Pomerol by Antoine Delmas, Merlot is, at its best, a textured wine capable of great power and elegance. Our Merlot comes from three blocks located within the famed Napa Valley AVA. Each site brings unique attributes and adds complexity. These sites showcase diverse gravelly and loam soils. The Oak Knoll lot brings backbone, sweet red fruit and tannins. The Oakville District Merlot lot showcases color and deeply textured, high-quality tannins. The small Cabernet fraction adds power and “grip”. Together, they all complete a wonderful package. Exemplary sustainable farming practices are employed in these sites and after veraison unevenly ripened bunches were hand-culled which reduced yield to about 6 pounds per vine (@ 3 tons/acre).


Hand-picked clusters were field sorted, and then hand-sorted at an average of 24 Brix. Cold soaking for 2.5 days in open-top temperature-controlled fermenters developed color and flavor in the absence of alcohol. Fermentation began spontaneously with prevailing yeasts and two daily punch downs kept the cap immersed in must, extracting superb flavor and structure. After innoculation with cultured yeasts, fermentation completed and was followed by nineteen days on the skins. The must was gently pressed into French oak barriques where it slowly completed ML fermentation. The press fraction was not used. Barrels were of the highest quality; 100% French, 30% new, two-year air-dried, medium-plus toast and handbent by Cadus and Francois Freres in central France. Fourteen months barrel maturation with two rackings and one egg white fining integrated flavors and developed a silky mouth-feel.


Regional Composition: 100% Napa Valley (80% Oak Knoll, 20% Oakville District)  
Varietal Composition: 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
pH: 3.62
TA: 0.56 g/100mL
Alcohol: 13.3%

Download Tasting Notes