Mt. Brave Merlot 2009 Front Label
Mt. Brave Merlot 2009 Front Label

Mt. Brave Merlot 2009

  • WE93
  • RP92
  • W&S92
750ML / 15% ABV
Other Vintages
  • RP94
  • JS90
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • RP94
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750ML / 15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
A brilliant Merlot, showing the intense complexity of its mountain terroir. There's a briary wildness to the blackberry and cassis liqueur flavors that's molten in concentration. Sweet, toasty oak provides additional richness. Very fine, but needs time. Give it 5–6 years to mellow. Cellar Selection.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Merlot is intense, juicy and beautifully balanced. A burst of dark, juicy fruit is followed by mint, pine, spices and licorice as the flavors build to the finish. Clean layers of minerality and sweet notes from the new French oak frame the exceptionally polished finish. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Chris Carpenter makes this wine at the vineyard formerly known as Chateau Potelle, the vines rising above the fog line from 1,400 to 1,800 feet. It has the freshness and concentration of a wine grown at altitude in thin, rocky soils, the grip of its mountain tannins resolving to soft velvet as the wine takes on air. Rich scents of blackberries and black pepper give it depth and brightness, like a steak seared black and blue.
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Mt. Brave

Mt. Brave

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Mt. Brave, California
Mt. Brave Winery Video

Mt. Brave is a tribute to the pioneering spirit of those who settled the rugged terrain of Mt. Veeder during the 1800s and an homage to the Wappo Indians, "the brave ones," who were the original inhabitants of this extraordinary place. The Mt. Brave Vineyard, once the Chateau Potelle Vineyard, was established decades ago at elevations ranging from 1,400 to 1,800 feet. While Mt. Veeder is cool, Mt. Brave sits above the fog line, with morning sun warming the grapes each day. Soils are a sparse, gravelly loam. Nutrients and minerals are scant, resulting in tiny berries with concentrated and complex flavors. At harvest, small lug boxes must be carefully moved up and down the steep slopes to protect both vines and vineyard workers.

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Centered at the peak for which it is named, Mount Veeder is Napa’s largest sub-AVA. But even though the entire appellation spreads over 16,000 acres, vineyards cover a mere 1,000. Scattered among Douglas firs and bristlecone pines, Mount Veeder vineyards extend south from the upper elevations of the Mayacamas Mountains—the highest point at 2,400 feet—to the border of the Carneros region. Less than 25 wineries produce wine from Mount Veeder fruit.

Winemaking began early in this appellation. In 1864, Captain Stelham Wing presented the first Mount Veeder wine to the Napa County Fair; it came from today’s Wing Canyon Vineyard. Prohibition, of course, halted winemaking and viticulture wasn’t revitalized until the founding of Mayacamas Vineyards in 1951 and Bernstein Vineyards in 1964.

The Bernstein Vineyards was actually home to the first Petit Verdot in California, planted in 1975. Today most of the Petit Verdot in Napa Valley originates from this vineyard.

Rocky volcanic clay and ancient seabed matter dominate Mount Veeder soils—perfect for Bordeaux varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot enjoy spectacular success. These varieties produce wines rich in brambly blackberry and black cherry fruit with herbal and floral aromatics. Structures are moderate to assertive and wines have great staying power.

Chardonnay from Mount Veeder is lush, full and balanced mineral and fresh citrus flavors.

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EDV1302332009E_2009 Item# 162569

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