Since the 1980’s, when we planted our original eight-acre, narrow-spaced vineyard of Merlot in Carneros, we’ve produced a very special bottling of this rich and complex estate grown varietal each year. We are pleased to continue this tradition with the release of the current vintage.
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 suited for the heavy clay loam soils in Carneros. The cool growing season develops complexity and intensity in the Bordeaux clone we selected.
Harvest and Winemaking
With steadily mild temperatures throughout the growing season, the 2009 vintage progressed very smoothly and the clusters ripened evenly. The fruit for this wine was harvested mid-September through early October and was thoroughly sorted. Fermentation took place at a high temperature to ensure that maximum extraction was achieved before the wine was racked to 40% new French oak barrels. The wine was aged in barrel for a total of 17 months before bottling.
Filled with the fragrances of dark brambly berries, baked plum, warm brown sugar, nutmeg and light cedar, this richly constructed, deep ruby Merlot delights the nose with its complexity. Equally intricate and pleasing is the creamy palate, which enters with decadent flavors of blackberry compote, warm blueberry pie and ripe black cherry. Nuances of smoky oak, sweet baking spice and fine cocoa mingle with soft tannins on the persistent finish.
With its dense, robust construction and deeply-fruited palate, our 2009 Carneros Merlot pairs famously with savory, substantial dishes. Pair it with a Prime Rib Roast from our friends at Kansas City Steaks or vegetable stew with new potatoes for a succulent dinner selection, or try it with Parrano Robusto for an enjoyable cheese course.