2016 Merlot

Our 2016 Merlot offers enticing aromas of plum, cherry pits, menthol, dried flowers, while subtle mesquite excites the senses.  But it is the silky textural pleasure in the mouth that grabs your attention, offering a seamless transition from start to finish.  There is enough acidity to suggest great food pairing and long-term aging potential, but it will be hard to wait on this beauty.  Flavors include chocolate covered cherries and earthy spices; what sets this rich and full wine apart, though, is the smoothness with which it caresses all corners of your mouth.  No doubt, this wine will provide years of drinking pleasure.

The five blocks of merlot grapes that contribute to this blend were night-harvested on October 11th, 18th, 21st, 22nd and 24th of 2016. The wines were fermented separately in stainless steel vats for 10 – 25 days before being gently pressed and racked to French oak barrels, 40% new. To the unctuous, dark-hued core of merlot, we blended in 15% cabernet sauvignon from our 36-year-old Rock Arch block, the oldest block on our estate (and also the source of our Reserve Cabernet), as well as just a kiss of petit verdot.

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Appellation: Napa Valley
Vintage: 2016
Harvest: October 2016
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 84% Merlot
15% Cabernet Sauvignon
1% Petit Verdot
Alcohol: 14.5%
Bottling: April 2018
Production: 4404 cases
Release Date: August 2018
Release Price: $62.00


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  • Wine Enthusiast: - Rating: 93

    Juicy, savory, spicy and well integrated, this bold beauty offers so much of what the variety is while combining 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Petit Verdot. With a backbone of tannin and oak, it shines in lasting accents of clove, chocolate and red and black currant, rich and smooth. VIRGINIE BOONE

  • Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: Issue 240 - Rating: 90

    Composed of 84% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Petit Verdot all coming from Napa Valley, the 2016 Merlot features warm red and black plums, freshly crushed blackberries and mulberries with nuances of spice cake, tobacco leaf, star anise and vanilla pod. The medium-bodied palate offers fresh black berries and plum flavors with a lovely spicy undercurrent and soft texture, finishing with great freshness and purity. 4404 cases were made.