Napa Valley Merlot 2013

Cakebread Cellars

Napa Valley Merlot 2013

Certified Sustainable, Organic or Biodynamic Green Certified

Region: America / California / Napa Valley
Grapes: 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon

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 was harvested, de-stemmed and crushed separately. The various lots 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 were transferred to carefully-selected French oak barrels, 36% new, where they aged for six months before being blended. The blended wine then spent an additional nine months in barrel, just long enough to impart further complexity to the wine, prior to bottling.

Silver Medal

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

2013 vintage
90 Points

Wine Enthusiast

2013 vintage
view all press reviews

harvest note

In 2013, a warm, dry spring initiated early budbreak, ensured trouble-free vine flowering and grape set, and led to a consistently mild summer fostering steady, even ripening and grapes with wonderful flavor concentration. Merlot grapes were hand-harvested between September 4th and October 4th with an optimum balance of sugar and acidity.

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.

technical data

GRAPES: 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
APPELLATION: Napa Valley, 58% Estate
PH: 3.54
ACIDITY: 0.64 g/100ml
ABV: 14.5%
AGING: 15 months in French oak barrels, 36% new
MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION: 100% small stainless steel tanks

points of distinction

  • A classic Right Bank Bordeaux blend
  • The Suscol Springs Estate vineyard forms the backbone of the blend (approx. 60%)
  • 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.”

– Stephanie Jacobs, Winemaker

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