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 handharvested 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 grapeskins. The wines finished secondary fermentation in French oak barrels (48% 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.