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 & Winemaking
The 2010 vintage was cooler than usual during the growing season, but ended with a heat wave. As a result, our Merlot was harvested at an optimal level of ripeness in early through mid-October. Fermentation took place at a high temperature to ensure that maximum extraction was achieved before the wine was racked to 35% new French oak barrels. The wine was aged in barrel for a total of 18 months before bottling.
This brilliant ruby wine delights the nose with a brilliant bouquet filled with ripe, wild raspberry, Italian plum and red currant preserves, enhanced by nuances of star anise, dried tobacco leaf, sweet cream and ripe black olive. The palate is equally alluring, opening with flavors of warm blueberry pie and crushed red cherries, transitioning to hints of spun sugar, fresh ground nutmeg and sweet oak that continue through the lasting, finish and backed by soft, silken tannins.
Elegant and balanced, this wine would show famously alongside a savory, flavorsome dish such as scallion-and-brie-stuffed beef sliders. Additionally, it would create a memorable cheese course when served with Jarlsberg, a nutty, buttery cow’s milk cheese.