In the 1980s, we planted an eight-acre, narrowly spaced Merlot vineyard in the cool, windswept Carneros region, at the southern corner of Napa Valley near San Pablo Bay. Dense clay loam soils; a long, cool growing season; and a carefully selected Bordeaux clone give us Merlot wines of intense, balanced red and blue fruit character.
VINEYARDS 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 The fruit for this wine was harvested at an optimal level of ripeness in early to mid-October. Fermentation took place at a high temperature to ensure that maximum extraction was achieved before the wine was racked to 50 percent new French oak barrels. The wine was aged in barrel for a total of 18 months before bottling.
TASTING NOTES Deep garnet in color, this wine reveals an exceptional array of aromas, from caramelized sugar and dried cranberry to crushed sage, cinnamon stick, clove and toasted oak. This luscious wine is round and full on the entry with fresh fruit flavors of blueberry, blackberry and red fruit, intertwined with hints of dark chocolate and mocha that continue through the long finish, supported by chewy tannins, integrated oak and mouthwatering acidity.
PAIRING Ripe and elegant, this Merlot would pair excellently with a savory dish, such as roasted duck breast or eggplant moussaka. Additionally, this wine would make a for a fantastic cheese course when matched with Asiago, an Italian cow’s milk cheese with sharp flavors.