The vineyards used for our 1999 Napa Valley Merlot provided berries with ripe fruit flavors, plush, soft textures and chewy tannins. The wine was aged in 40 percent new oak (primarily French) for 14 months to integrate juicy, plum, black cherry and toffee aromas and mouth-coating flavors, supported by enticing sweet vanilla, cedar and spice components.
The debut release of our Napa Valley Merlot is the result of many years of vineyard and winemaking experimentation. Over the last decade, Winemaster Ed Sbragia and I have witnessed the steady development of fruit character in Merlot from our Dos Rios, Gamble Ranch and Big Ranch Road vineyards. Located from the cool southern end of the Napa Valley to the relatively warm microclimates of Yountville and Oakville, these vineyards provide important components that allow the wine to show the broader personality of the Napa Valley.