Kenefick Ranch Merlot 2012
Kenefick Ranch Vineyards are located in Napa Valley’s northern most AVA – Calistoga. The entirety of the Calistoga AVA is underlain by volcanic bedrock and sediments more geologically uniform than other Napa Valley AVAs with valley floor environments. Almost completely of volcanic origin, soils range from rocky, stony loam on the hillsides, to gravelly or cobbly loams on the alluvial fans, and heavier clay-silt soils in the valley center areas. Volcanic soils yield more minerals for limiting nutrients that grapes need and allow for better drainage which is better for root development. Further, thinner volcanic soils lead to less green growth and more concentration of flavor within the berries. As a reputable grower, we’re able to control vine quality and produce consistent flavors and characters within small vineyard blocks.
For nearly 25 years, Kenefick Ranch has sold its grapes to such prestigious labels as Caymus, Joseph Phelps, Shafer, and Pride Mountain. In 2002, Tom retired from neurosurgery and Kenefick Ranch began producing and selling its own portfolio of award-winning wines. And today – complemented by advanced vineyard techniques and state-of-the-art winemaking – Kenefick Ranch is still reminiscent of the working ranch it was during the nascent days of the Napa Valley.
As Napa Valley’s third most planted grape, Napa Valley Merlot shows time and time again its potential to produce exceptional results. Napa’s vaunted combination of climate, soil and the human factor of winemaking expertise lead to big, ripe, cellar-worthy and world-class versions.
Whether made by itself in single varietal bottlings or as an important role in Bordeaux Blends, Merlot continues a prominent role in this famous region. While Cabernet typically takes the lead role, Merlot’s contribution—even at 10% to 20% or so—is significant indeed. Often described as “the flesh on Cabernet’s bones,” Merlot lends a soft, round and plush character that beautifully complements Cabernet’s linear, full-throttle structure. Its flavors of plums plus subtle herbs and mint also dovetail nicely with Cabernet’s blackberry and cassis.