Napa Valley Merlot

Cakebread Cellars

Napa Valley Merlot

Certified Sustainable, Organic or Biodynamic Green Certified

Region: America / California / Napa Valley

The Napa Valley Merlot fruit comes primarily from an exciting estate vineyard at the southern end of the Napa Valley called the Suscol Springs Vineyard. Vines struggle in rocky Hambright outcrop soils planted on steep hillsides with a southern exposure. The challenge of growing here, however, pays dividends in fruit quality. These blocks produce grapes with distinctive, true-to-varietal flavors, bright acidity and a muscular structure that is ideal for aging. Each vineyard lot is harvested, de-stemmed and crushed separately. The various lots are fermented in a mix of small closed and open-top stainless steel tanks, with pumpovers to fully extract color, flavor and tannin from the skins. After fermentation, the new wines are transferred to carefully selected French oak barrels, approximately one-third new, where they age for six months before being blended. The blended wine then spends an additional nine months in barrel to impart further complexity to the wine prior to bottling.


Quarterly Review of Wines

2013 vintage
92 Points

2012 vintage
view all press reviews

tasting note

Fragrant ripe black cherry, red plum and blackberry aromas, complemented by whiffs of black tea, oak and chocolate, introduce this bold, beautifully structured Merlot. Rich and plump on the palate with lush cherry, plum and red currant flavors framed by firm, yet fine-grained tannins, it culminates in a long finish accented by zesty tea-leaf spice tones. Delicious now, this youthful merlot will benefit from another 5-7 years’ aging.

food pairing

An excellent companion to pork, pheasant and veal.

points of distinction

  • A classic Right Bank Bordeaux blend
  • The Suscol Springs Estate vineyard forms the backbone of the blend
  • Matured in French oak barrels before and after blending, for greater complexity
  • about the grape +
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“Our emphasis on fruit quality captures the expression of blackberry and black cherry in the wine.”

– Julianne Laks, Winemaker

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