Chocolate, cherries, violets and sweet vanilla oak notes jump from the nose of this Merlot. On the palate, roasty tobacco, black fruit and spice flavors lead into round tannins that persist throughout a long finish. Over half of the blend came from Alexander and Knights Valley grapes, with their flavors of deep berry and round tannins. In the mid and southern regions, grapes grown in the cool Russian River and Sonoma Valleys contributed brighter cherry flavors. Approximately 6% Cabernet Franc was added for a lingering finish. Individual vineyard lots were aged separately for 14 months in French and American oak and then blended before bottling.