TwoTone Farm Merlot 2003
The Merlot grapes were grown in vineyards on the Napa Valley's floor, mid-valley, close to where the river used to flood, so the soils are generally loamy, which works great for this variety because they're heavy and a bit more fertile. The lots were all vinified separately and aged in French oak barrels for about 16 months to help the tannins soften and highlight the fruit with some nice vanilla and brown spice characters.
TwoTone Farm is a painting by Santa Fe artist Patrick McFarlin. Depicted on the label, the painting, like the wines, evokes a mood of farm-style down-to-earth straightforwardness and unpretentious fun.
"Ripe, with plush texture to chocolate, black cherry and roasted plum flavors. Mocha and vanilla from toasty oak fold into round, supple tannins on the finish."
TwoTone Farm is the first screw cap only line to be introduced by a major Napa Valley wine company. The line is a collaboration between two assistant winemakers at Beringer, they wanted to make the kind of wines that they could drink everyday. Many winemakers now agree that screw caps are better than corks at preserving a wine’s freshness, but the jury is still out on whether screw caps are appropriate for wines destined for prolonged aging. We believe that screw caps have a pretty viable future, and there is more and more trade and consumer acceptance of closure. But each winery should decide for itself which closure to use. We believe there’s room for all closures—cork and its alternatives.
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.