2010 TEXTBOOK Vineyards Merlot, "Fin de Journée", Napa Valley
- Superb sites in the Rutherford & Carneros AVA's highlight the pedigree of this inaugural release
- Classic Bordelaise winemaking (handwork in vineyard, modest use of new French oak barrels, egg-white fining) partnered with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon provides a richly textured and balanced result.
Price: $25 per bottle
Shipping and handling included at no charge on 6+ bottles!
"Inky purple. Aromas and flavors of dark berries and cherry pit, with a chocolatey overtone. Shows modest concentration to its bitter cherry and cassis flavors, which pick up a peppery nuance with air. Closes on a spicy note, with good clarity and soft tannins."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, May/June 2013
Rainfall returned after three dry years, pushed bud break, flowering and fruit-set back by a few weeks at the front end of the growing season, and due to the overcast skies, frosts were avoided. The relatively cool growing season coupled with a heat spike in late summer resulted in a late and shortened harvest with lower yields. Cooler than average temperatures returned again in early September, but gave way to a welcome, warm and consistent Indian Summer that was just the ticket, bringing good flavor and color development across the board. Grapes were harvested in the early hours of October 10 & 20. The vintage quickly showed delicious flavors that have led to elegant, structured wines, almost European in style.
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 elegance. "Fin de journée" Merlot comes from two blocks ideally located within the Rutherford and Carneros AVAs. These AVAs each bring unique attributes and add complexity to the wine. The warmer Rutherford site showcases dusty, dry loamy soils whereas the Carneros site has heavier clay loam soils and was planted in the early 2000's to clone 181. 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 (@ 3.2 tons/acre).
Hand-picked clusters were field sorted, and then hand-sorted at an average of 25.2 Brix. Cold soaking for 2 days in open-top temperature-controlled fermenters developed color and flavor in the absence of alcohol. Fermentation began spontaneously with prevailing yeasts and one daily punchdown kept the cap immersed in must, extracting superb flavor and structure. After inoculation with cultured yeasts, fermentation completed and was followed by twelve 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, 35% new, two-year air dried, medium-plus toast and handbent by Cadus and Francois Freres in central France. Our final assemblage included a soupçon of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Nineteen months barrel maturation with two rackings and one egg white fining integrated flavors and developed silky mouth-feel.
We call our Napa Valley Merlot "Fin de journée" ("at the close of the day") to express when we most enjoy drinking it. We believe it is a "textbook" example of this noble variety grown in this outstanding appellation.
Regional Composition: 100% Napa Valley (70% Rutherford, 30% Carneros)
Varietal Composition: 98% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
TA: 0.55 g/100mL
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