The Napa Valley Merlot fruit comes from diverse vineyard sites ranging from Suscol Springs Ranch in the southeastern corner of Napa Valley to sites in Rutherford and Calistoga. Suscol Springs is a unique site for Merlot that stresses the vines resulting in smaller, more concentrated fruit. Each vineyard produces differing and distinctive grapes, resulting in a complex, multi-layered Merlot that is bold and elegant, as well as concentrated and fresh. The separate lots of Merlot from each vineyard site were hand-harvested at night to maintain cool temperatures and integrity of the fruit. The lots were fermented in stainless steel tanks with careful pump overs to fully extract color, flavor and tannin from the skins, then moved to barrels to finish a secondary fermentation. The wines were aged in 44% new French oak barrels before blending in July of 2017. The final blend was then aged for an additional nine months, totaling 17 months before bottling.

92 Points
Wine Advocate
2016 vintage
Harvest Note
The vintage of 2016 began early, and offered ideal growing conditions throughout the season. Steady and mild temperatures through July and August were followed by warmer weather at the end of the growing season, which assured optimal ripening of the grapes throughout the differing Napa Valley appellations, and resulted in nicely-balanced acidity and exceptional quality wine.
Tasting Note
This is a savory, bold and structured wine, with a firm foundation. Hints of dried herbs, along with aromas of deep blackberry and black cherry, are evident along with mineral notes of crushed stone. The flavors are deeply concentrated with black plum, as well as fresh blackberries to match the nose. Freshness and acidity are followed by silky textures and refined, elegant tannins.
Food Pairing
An excellent companion to pork, pheasant and veal.
Technical Data
GRAPES: 82% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 6% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Franc
PH: 3.54
ACIDITY: 0.68 g/l
ABV: 14.9%
AGING: 17 months French oak barrels, 44% new
Unique Selling Points
  • The steep, south-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

Merlot makes plump, succulent wines to drink young or opulently massive wines for aging. Has silky, blackberry and currant fruit, with spice, earth, tobacco and chocolate notes, and soft tannins.
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