2017 Merlot


Napa Valley

Napa Valley Merlot


Napa Valley

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Youthful dark ruby color, the 2017 Merlot expresses the depth of mountain fruit, particularly Howell mtn, with ripe blackberry, Santa Rosa plum and dark cherry. With nuances of arugula, Horehound, black pepper and sage, adding to the briary complexity, this wine is very stimulating to the senses. The spicy oak is well integrated with the abundance of aroma. The mountain tannins are firm yet subtle, giving structure to the bed of dark red fruit. This is a block buster merlot, one for enjoying now and years to come...enjoy.


Vintage 2017
Varietal Merlot
Harvest Date 9/05 to 10/04
Acid 0.58g/L
pH 3.64
Aging 15.4 months in French oak barrels
Bottling Date March 2019
Alcohol % 14.5%

Vineyard Notes

Keyes—(63.3%) Located near the town of Angwin, at roughly 1,850 ft. elevation, this Howell Mountain vineyard sits adjacent to the Las Posadas State Forest, well above the marine layer, and with warm afternoon sun exposure. The summer days range from 55 to 90 degrees, with cool nights preserving the acidity. The mountainous soil is predominantly volcanic, shallow with low fertility, and producing merlot that expresses dark fruits like blackberry and dark currant, with a distinct minerality.


Stagecoach Vineyard—Atlas Peak (14.1%) These grapes were sorted from the Atlas Peak area of the Stagecoach Vineyard, located north east of Napa at approximately 1,500 ft. elevation. Composed of ancient volcanic soils, the vineyard is carved out of rocky terrain, sage brush and chaparral. The grape vines struggle in this environment, creating grapes that are small and very concentrated. The Merlot grapes ripen very evenly, yielding great dark cherry depth with an incredible distinctiveness that can only be derived from the terroir of Stagecoach.


JFW Oakville Vineyard—Oakville (13.1%) Predominantly a rich clay loam that supports healthy vineyards. The wines express flavors of dark cherry and rhubarb pie.


Calistoga Vineyard—(5.8%) The soil is a gravelly clay-silt loam, in a fairly warm region of northern Napa Valley. The wines are typically red fruit driven, like dark cherry.


Red Barn—Rutherford (2.7%) Located in the heart of the Rutherford Appellation, this vineyard is a mosaic of creek beds. The Napa River and Conn Creek have traversed through this vineyard in history past, leaving gravely loams and ancient creek beds. The fruit is soft, with cherry, plum, rhubarb and arugula.


Bosche Vineyard—(1%) Located west of Hwy. 29, on the famed Rutherford Bench, the Bosché vineyard has very deep gravelly soils. A seasonal creek crosses the vineyard which causes the water table to be high in the spring, providing water and nutrients for new shoot growth. As veraison approaches the water table drops, stressing the wines and intensifying the dark velvety fruit flavors. This is a natural area to grow Bordeaux varietals with dry farming or minimal drip irrigation.

Production Notes

After a five-day cold soak, the fermentation was in stainless steel tanks at 75-86 deg for 10-28 days with skin contact

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