PlumpJack Merlot 2015
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A chewy merlot with lots of ripe tannins and plenty of berry and hazelnut character. Full and rich but not overdone.
PlumpJack Winery sits squarely in the heart of Napa Valley's renowned Oakville region, surrounded by a 42-acre estate vineyard highly-regarded for the quality of its Cabernet Sauvignon. Both their winery building and their vineyard date back to the 1800s, when winemaking pioneers first took advantage of a unique position on the valley floor. The east side of their vineyard lies along the foothills of the Vaca mountain range and yields grapes with the kind of bold fruit character that comes from well-drained hillside soils. To the west, their estate lies in the Napa River flood zone. Here, their vines take root in rich, deep clay soild, for grapes with softer, more supple varietal character. From their oldest, rockiest section - the "I" Block, where they source their Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve - to more recent plantings, they strive to maintain balanced vines.
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.