2017 Vintner Select Merlot

The essence of mountain merlot, out 2017 Vintner Select Merlot possesses complex notes of kirsch, blackberry, rose petal, graphite and ripe plum. The texture is layered and unctuous, coating the mouth in waves of supple, intense fruit that continues to saturate the mouth long after each sip.

Over our 25 years of trying different merlot clones at different growing sites around the property, we find that clone 3 merlot grown on our warmest south-facing slopes is what makes our most thrilling, flavorful and concentrated merlot; our VS Merlot comes entirely from these clone 3 merlot blocks each vintage.  Once the VS Merlot has been blended, the rough formula for the Reserve Claret is 2/3 VS Merlot and 1/3 Reserve Cab.  We typically make around 500 cases of VS Merlot each vintage compared to 600+ cases of Reserve Claret and 5000+ cases of Pride Merlot.

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Appellation: 56% Napa
44% Sonoma
Vintage: 2017
Harvest: October 2017
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 100% Merlot
Alcohol: 14.7%
Bottling: July 2019
Production: 489 cases
Release Date: January 2020
Release Price: $88.00


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  • Jeb Dunnuck: Napa Valley’s 2017s - Rating: 91

    Moving to the 2017s, the smaller production 2017 Merlot Vintners Select has a similar deep ruby hue compared to the classic Merlot and offers nots of mulled black cherries, red plums, toasted spices, mocha, and some vanilla oak. As with the base cuvee, it’s medium-bodied, lightly textured, and certainly delicious. Drink it over the coming decade as well.

  • Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate: Issue 251 End of October 2020, The Wine Advocate - Rating: 91

    Composed of 100% Merlot, the 2017 Merlot Vintner's Select comes from 44% Sonoma County and 56% Napa County. Pale to medium garnet-purple colored, it sashays out of the glass with pretty notes of warm plums, kirsch and raspberry pie plus suggestions of chocolate box, star anise and wild sage with a waft of tobacco leaf. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is soft and juicy with lots of energetic red fruit sparks among the black berry flavors, finishing with an invigorating herbal lift.