Stags' Leap Winery Merlot 2019
With freshness exhibiting its southern Napa origins, the 2019 Merlot leaps from the glass with layers of ripe black cherry, blackberry, and dark raspberry, alongside baking spice notes of cinnamon spice, vanilla, and crème brûlée. Savory, chaparral notes of lavender, bay laurel, mint and thyme accompany succulent tones of cherry kirsch and bittersweet chocolate. Hints of anise and hazelnut play on the palate, a nod to the delicately interwoven oak integration. Opulent and plush with mouthwatering acidity, polished structure, and finesse, all framed by present, mouth-coating tannins, finishing with layers and depth, showcasing the balance, elegance, and grace of this exemplary Merlot.
Blend: 94% Merlot, 5% Petite Sirah, 1% Malbec
A fashionable country resort in the mid-twentieth century, popular with Hollywood due to its 1892 stone Manor House and historic gardens, legends of bootleggers and gangsters, ghosts and gypsies, Stags' Leap has been home to three major family groups up through the modern revitalization of the winery that began in the 1970s.
Stags Leap Manor, as it was called in the 1920s, was known as one of the prominent country retreats in the Napa Valley at a time when resort and spa business was big. In addition to lodging and dining, amenities included lawn tennis, swimming, horseback riding, children's activities, golf, music, cards, a library, and Napa Valley wines and liquors (prior to and after Prohibition).
An intimate valley within the greater Napa Valley, Stags Leap is a place of natural beauty, storied buildings and gardens, a lively history, and a reputation for elegant wines showing finesse and intensity.
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.