Oberon Merlot 2018
Using Syrah and Zinfandel as blenders, adds a dark velvety feel 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. To naturally soften tannins and enhance varietal complexity, Tony allowed the grapes to undergo 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. Using Syrah and Zinfandel as blenders, adds a dark velvety feel 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.
Winemaker Tony Coltrin was born in St. Helena and is a lifelong Napa Valley resident. Having grown up in Napa Valley and worked in the wine industry for over 45 years, Coltrin knows every corner of the valley and precisely which sub-zones excel at producing Bordeaux grapes of exceptional character.
Tony’s life-long relationships with grape growers throughout the Napa Valley are the key to Oberon’s quality. He is able to draw on those friendships to reliably obtain top quality fruit at a fair price year after year. For Oberon, Tony selects Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay grapes from Napa’s best winegrowing regions, including Rutherford, Oakville, Oak Knoll, Yountville, Chiles Valley and Capell Valley.
By layering together structured hillside fruit, plush fruit from the alluvial valley floor and fruit sourced from diverse soils within the valley, Tony crafts quintessential Napa Valley wines: complex, flavorful wines with ample natural acidity. Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic Napa Cabernet with deep, rich color and concentrated blackberry and cassis flavors. The Merlot shows textbook plum and black currant flavors and silky texture. The Sauvignon Blanc is partially fermented in barrel, adding body and texture to the vibrant green apple, kiwi, pear and melon fruit flavors. The Carneros Chardonnay is an expressive, approachable, fruit-forward wine with notes of caramelized white pear, fresh Fuji and Golden Delicious apple, and torched crème brûlée.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.