2016 TEXTBOOK Merlot, Napa Valley
90 POINTS - BEST OF THE YEAR ISSUE
"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
Superb sites in the renowned 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.
90 points, Best of 2017 Issue - Wine Enthusiast Magazine
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 sixteen 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.