The current vintage of Napa Valley Merlot is sold out. The anticipated release date for the next vintage is Fall 2014.
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The wine opens with a lovely, multi-layered perfume of black cherry, cassis and juicy, ripe plum with undertones of fresh herbs, cocoa and clove. These elements carry through seamlessly to the palate, the mouthfeel substantial, round and luxuriously plush. The long, velvety finish is infused with black currant and dark chocolate.
84% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec, and 2% Syrah
Appellation: Stag’s Leap District, Napa Valley - 56% Wappo Hill vineyard (Stag’s Leap District), 37% Stag’s Leap, 4% Carneros District (Napa Valley), 3% Napa Valley
Over 90% of the fruit for this wine came from vineyards in the Stag’s Leap District, where our Wappo Hill vineyard is located, a region renowned for its velvety delivery and the smooth, fleshy mouthfeel we look for in Merlot. Of that, the majority of fruit came from Wappo Hill, a vineyard we prize for its bright purity of fruit expression. The volcanic and other poor, shallow soils of the region suppress vine vigor, resulting in low yields of fruit of elegance and formidable intensity. A small amount of fruit from other select Napa Valley AVAs contributed added complexity, each sub-region bringing something a little different to the blend.
The grapes were hand harvested in the cool of the morning, then gently de-stemmed and crushed. Nearly one third of the wine was fermented in French-oak tanks in our To Kalon Cellar for soft, supple tannins and textural interest. The balance went into stainless steel tanks for purity of fruit expression. Nineteen days of maceration maximized color and flavor extraction and polished the tannins for a lush, round mouthfeel. The new wine was transferred to 60-gallon French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and fifteen months aging to develop greater roundness and depth. Small amounts of complementary varieties were included in the blend, further enhancing the wine’s structure, balance and complex flavor profile.