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Whitehall Lane Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2007

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
  • WS90
  • WE90
14.5% ABV
  • WW91
  • WW90
  • WE90
  • WS90
  • WS89
  • WS91
  • WE90
  • WE92
  • WE92
  • WS90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

81% Merlot 10% Cabernet Sauvignon 9% Syrah.
This ripe and rich Merlot has lovely aromas and flavors of black cherry leaning to ripe plum and toasty oak. It gains pleasing mid-palate structure from the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Syrah adds complexity and balance through to the lengthy finish.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Sleek and classy, with black cherry and delicate toasty oak aromas that lead to supple, layered flavors of red currant, mocha and spice. Drink now through 2015.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Super-delicious, a soft, luscious wine whose cherry, raspberry and cocoa flavors are wrapped into velvety tannins. Made even richer by the vanilla and toasty caramel of oak barrels. Defines ready-to-drink Napa Valley Merlot.
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Whitehall Lane

Whitehall Lane Winery

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Whitehall Lane Winery, Napa Valley, California
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Whitehall Lane Winery was founded in 1979, but the history of the soil cultivation dates back two centuries. In the mid 1800's, Napa Valley settlers were drawn to the gravelly-loam soils and ideal climate, planting high quality grape vines at the Whitehall Lane Winery site. A barn constructed in the early 1900's for equipment storage is still used today. In 1979, two brothers started the winery and directed their winemaking efforts successfully to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. They named the winery after the road that runs along the southern border of the property, Whitehall Lane.

In 1993, the Leonardini Family purchased the Whitehall Lane Winery estate. They updated the winemaking and barrel-aging program and introduced a scientific approach in the vineyards. The winery now owns seven prime vineyards that are the cornerstone on which the wines are made. They include two vineyards in the St. Helena Appellation, three vineyards (including the winery) in the Rutherford Appellation, one vineyard in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley and one vineyard in Sonoma Valley.

In its short history, Whitehall Lane has developed into a world-class winery. The efforts of the Leonardini Family are evident in the run of accolades from wine publications but are even more apparent in their elegant, beautifully made wines.

Napa Valley

Red Wine

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Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, and in a short span of time, Napa Valley is a relative newcomer in the world of prestigious red wine regions. While the 1960s brought a few determined growers to the valley, by the 1970s Napa Valley already had shown the world its ability to compete head-to-head with the esteemed region of Bordeaux. The victory of the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1976 Judgement of Paris, followed by Robert Parker’s 100-point perfect score awarded to the Groth 1985 Cabernet Sauvignon brought plenty of acclaim to the valley.

Though Cabernet Sauvignon undoubtedly still dominates Napa Valley in every way, covering half of the land under vine, commanding the highest prices per ton and enjoying plenty of recognition, other red varieties certainly thrive here as well. Important but often overlooked include Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded for single varietal wines or for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel still exists in the valley and in its mountain appellations, representing an important historical stronghold for the region. Pinot noir can be produced but mainly in the cooler southern parts of the valley close to the San Pablo Bay.

What makes Napa such an amazing place for the production of red wines? Mainly it is a combination of ideal weather patterns and incredible soil variations. A balance of hot days and cool nights from the cool moist air of the San Pablo Bay or elevation, or both, allows even and slow ripening of its grapes. Furthermore the valley and its more mountainous sub appellations claim over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—all ideal for world-class red wine production.

OPI45785_2007 Item# 112686