2016 Limited Release Merlot

Limited Release
Napa Valley
$50.00  |  Club Price $40.00
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This lovely Napa Valley Merlot demonstrates concentrated aromas of bright red fruit, with a hint of mocha and vanilla. The palate is filled with notes of cherry, boysenberry and fig compote, layered with mocha and cassis. The tannins are silky and gracious, granting the wine a delightful texture, and an incredibly elegant, restrained structure.
200 cases produced

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Varietal Composition: 100% Merlot
Technical Data: ALC: 14.8% by vol.; TA: 6.6 G/L; pH: 3.38
Cooperage: 100% French Oak Barrels (30% New)

The grapes for this wine were hand harvested at night and brought to the winery in the early morning, in small bins. The fruit was hand-sorted, all the way down to individual berries that were promptly placed into temperature controlled fermentation tanks where they completed approximately 25 days of fermentation. The wine was sent to French Oak barrels right after fermentation (30% new), where it aged for 22 months. The 2015 vintage granted us with berries that were simultaneously very elegant and incredibly concentrated, and therefore our winemaker wanted to keep the purity of the unique Merlot fruit, and decided not to add any other blending varietals to this wine.
This wine is made with Merlot grapes from two Napa Valley AVAS, Atlas Peak and Oak Knoll. The Atlas Peak AVA is cool and mountain influenced, with temperatures about 1015 cooler than the valley floor in summer; however because the vineyard sits above the fog line, this condition gives us an extra two weeks of hang time. These characteristics, along with the volcanic soils, allow the grapes to develop unique phenolic components, with tones of black fruit, and great acidity. Oak Knoll is located in the southern portion of Napa Valley where relatively cooler temperatures mean grapes hang longer on the vines before reaching maturity. This additional hang time is good for flavor development, crucial to getting our Merlot grapes to optimal ripeness.
This vintage will be remembered for high quality, but low yields. The 2015 growing season started out with unseasonably warm temperatures in the late winter and early spring. This resulted in an early bud break and bloom. Colder temperatures in May (during the peak of bloom) caused uneven fruit set which ultimately resulted in a much smaller crop in 2015, compared to the three abundant years that preceded it. As a result, our winemaker workedhand-in-hand with our vineyard crews and also employed new technologies, like optical sorting, to ensure we picked and crushed only the best quality grapes. The harvest was one of the earliest on record in Napa Valley, beginning on July 31st with the picking of grapes for our sparkling wine program, and concluding for us October 22nd. While ongoing drought was of great concern, we were fortunate to have received enough rain in the winter to fill our reservoirs.

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