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.