Napa Valley Merlot 2015

Cakebread Cellars

Napa Valley Merlot 2015

Certified Sustainable, Organic or Biodynamic Green Certified

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

The Napa Valley Merlot fruit comes primarily from the Suscol Springs Estate vineyard at the southern end of the Napa Valley. Vines struggle in rocky Hambright outcrop soils planted on steep hillsides with a southern exposure. These blocks produce grapes with distinctive, true-to-varietal flavors, bright acidity and a muscular structure that is ideal for aging. In 2015, Cakebread Cellars fermented six separate lots of Merlot 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, 44% new, where they aged for eight months before blending. The blended wine then spent an additional nine months in barrel prior to bottling.

91 Points

2015 vintage
Gold Medal

San Francisco International Wine Competition

2015 vintage
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harvest note

After abundant harvests from 2012 through 2014, the 2015 growing season experienced more weather extremities that led to a small, yet outstanding, vintage. 2015 was the earliest harvest ever in the 40+ year of Cakebread Cellars history. A warm, dry winter fostered early bud-break, though a cold spell during fruit set limited cluster sizes. A warm summer and late-season heat spikes ensured beautiful ripening.

tasting note

Deep, lovely aromas of ripe black cherry and blackcurrant fruit are complemented by light floral notes in the nose of this plush, supple Merlot. Rich, concentrated flavors of ripe blackberry, black plum and blackcurrant fill the lush palate, framed by fine-grained tannins, leading to a long finish showcasing bright black cherry, berry and mineral tones. Delicious now, this classic Napa Valley Merlot will gain further complexity with another 5-7 years’ bottle age.

food pairing

An excellent companion to pork, pheasant and veal.

technical data

GRAPES: 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc
APPELLATION: Napa Valley, 79% Estate Vineyards
PH: 3.47
ACIDITY: 0.68 g/100ml
ABV: 14.9%
AGING: 17 months in French oak barrels, 44% new

points of distinction

  • The steep, hilly, southern-facing Suscol Springs Estate vineyard forms the backbone of the blend
  • Matured in French oak barrels for 17 months for greater complexity and elegance
  • Delicious upon release but will continue to develop elegance and complexity with an additional 5-7 years’ aging
  • 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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