To naturally soften tannins and enhance varietal complexity, Napa Valley native and winemaker, Tony Coltrin, gave the wine an extended maceration. He then pressed the wine and transferred it to French oak barrels (45% new oak) to undergo a long malolactic fermentation for roundness and depth. Blending in the Syrah added interesting nuances to the lush berry flavor profile of the Merlot. Dense black fruit aromas are followed by blueberry and chocolate flavors, and supple tannins on the palate.
"The biggest surprise was the brilliant 2009 Merlot (92% Merlot, 7% Syrah and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon). This delicious effort displays a dense ruby/purple color in addition to white chocolate, mocha, black cherry and cassis aromas and flavors. This is a lush, succulent, medium-bodied sleeper of the vintage."
The Wine Advocate