In the 1980s, we planted a small, eight-acre parcel in Carneros as one of the first narrow-spaced vineyards in Napa Valley. Within a decade we created our Napa Valley Carneros Merlot in very limited quantities. We are pleased to continue this tradition of estate grown Merlot with the release of the current vintage.
Rich in character and complexity, our 2008 Merlot offers a remarkable bounty of aromas including blueberry and luscious cherry-berry fruit, touched with nuances of cola, cinnamon bark and bay leaf. Equally delightful as the nose is the excellently constructed palate, which opens with bright pomegranate, cherry pie and dried cranberry flavors that endure through the finish, echoing notes of vanilla, toasty oak and spiced chai.
Located at the southern corner of Napa Valley, Carneros is heavily influenced by the cool San Pablo Bay climate. Our sloping estate vineyards contain 1,520 vines per acre and feature rootstock 5C suited for the heavy clay loam soils in Carneros. The cool growing season develops complexity and intensity in the Bordeaux clone we selected.
The 2008 vintage was extremely variable, opening with an intense frost that resulted in limited fruit set,
then proceeding to be one of the driest seasons on record which reduced berry weight further. A long, cool summer allowed flavors to develop fully before a heat wave encouraged prompt picking. The small but flavorful clusters were night-harvested mid September and underwent our rigorous sorting process prior to being destemmed into tank. After 13 days of extended maceration, the wine aged for 16 months in a combination of 30% new French and American oak barrels before bottling in May 2010.
Food Pairing Notes
Possessing the roundness and structure that it does, this Merlot would show well alongside a rich and flavorful meal, such as a lamb shank stew or tagliatelle Bolognese. For a wonderful cheese course, try it with a hard, aged cheese like Asiago d’Avello or Mimolette.