Our Estate Grown Merlot represents over 20 years of research and experience with Napa Valley Merlot. From our first vintage in 1978, we knew that we were in uncharted territory—one of a few who had seriously considered producing a varietal Merlot. Our estate vineyards are located in the best alluvial fans of the Napa Valley starting with the Selby Creek fan in the north, moving to Ritchie Creek in St. Helena, and finishing with the Rector Creek fan in Yountville. The shallow topsoil and high water drainage of the alluvial soils force the vine to send roots deep in search of water. The rocks retain the day's heat bringing relief to the vine during the cold spring mornings and foggy summer nights. The grapes remain small and the leaf canopy restrained. Our Estate Grown Merlot is produced from the finest fruit, and is the pride of our Merlot portfolio.
This full-bodied Merlot offers ripe, seductive flavors, well-integrated tannins and a sophisticated palate structure. The bouquet reveals layered aromatics of plum, vanilla bean and spice, as well as evocative notes of saddle leather, tobacco leaf and rich, moist earth. On the palate, these elements lead to rich blackberry, red cherry and mocha flavors, complemented by inviting notes of blueberry, loganberry and currant.
"Deeply impressive on every level, from the profound, inviting aromas of currants and fine oak to the mouthfeel, which is plush and important. Encased in a superb structure of acidity and firm tannins are ripe, complex flavors of currants, violets, olive tapenade and oatmeal raisin cookies. Completely dry, this beautiful wine should age well for six or more years."
"Rich, concentrated yet supple, with plush blackberry and mocha aromas and ripe yet tightly wound black currant, lead pencil and cedar flavors that finish with firm, dusty tannins."