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. Gentle pumpovers during fermentation extracted color, flavor and tannins from the grape skins. The wines finished secondary fermentation in French oak barrels (55% new) where they aged until blending, then we reintroduced the final blend to barrel for full integration of toast and oak structure with the rich, ripe fruit aromas.

90 Points
2017 vintage
Harvest Note
After several years of drought, we were happy to see ample rainfall in Napa Valley during the winter of 2017. Cool spring weather gave us ideal conditions for flowering and “berry set”—when each tiny flower turns into a young grape. Temperatures were moderate through the summer, for slow, even ripening, then turned warmer during harvest, which sped things up and delivered small clusters with tremendous varietal character and balanced acidity. Harvest of our Suscol Springs Ranch vineyard was nearly two weeks early!
Tasting Note
Aromas of blackberry and black cherry, with a background of crushed stone. On the palate, concentrated fresh blackberry and black plum are supported by fine tannins, balanced by bright acidity, and lifted by distinctive mineral accents. Rich black cherry notes round out the satisfying finish to this bold, elegant, and complex Merlot.
Technical Data
GRAPES: 85% Merlot; 9% Cabernet Sauvignon; 4% Syrah; 2% Petite Verdot
PH: 3.48
ACIDITY: 0.7 g/l
ABV: 14.9%
AGING: 17 Months In 55% New French Oak
Unique Selling Points
  • Steep, rocky Suscol Springs vineyard provides concentrated flavors and supple tannins
  • Matured in 55% new French oak barrels for 17 months for greater complexity and elegance
  • Delicious upon release and elegance and complexity will enhance with 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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