Designed to allow us to focus our attention on one outstanding block of estate Merlot each vintage, the Mountain Top vineyard again shown most brightly in 2003. As a component in our 2003 Napa/Sonoma Merlot (released earlier this year) and our Reserve Claret it contributes aromatics of ripe, dark cherries and richly concentrated flavors of dark, ripe blackberries graced with cedar and a bit of espresso. As a vineyard designate it is simply a must have wine. Built to impress early, it also possesses a structure that will allow it to age elegantly for decades.

Appellation: Sonoma County
Vintage: 2003
Harvest: October 2003
Fermentation: Alcholic & Malolactic in Stainless Steel Tanks
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 100% Merlot
Alcohol: 14.6%
Bottling: September 2003
Production: 445 cases
Release Date: December 2005
Price: $75.00


  • Wine & Spirits: 88

    Gentle and round, this wine's flavors are ripened to the warmth of prunes and chocolate. It's intense, smoky and thick, the flavors paralleling zin more than merlot.

  • The Wine Advocate: December 26, 2006 Issue 168
    Rating: 91

    The outstanding 2003 Merlot Vintner's Select Mountaintop Vineyard exhibits a dense ruby/purple color in addition to a generous nose of toffee, berry fruit, espresso roast, and toasty oak, supple tannin, and a lush, opulent, fruity, complex style. It should drink well for 7-8 years.

  • Wine Spectator: October 31, 2005
    Rating: 87

    Rich, supple and harmonious, with fleshy currant, blackberry and plum flavors that are thick and mouth-coating. Shows a chocolate-mocha edge. Firms up on the finish, with a dash of heat and firm, chewy tannins. Drink now through 2010. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 450 cases made.