2015 DeLouise Vineyard Merlot, Oak Knoll, Napa Valley

DeLouise Vineyard
Oak Knoll, Napa Valley
$80.00  |  Club Price $64.00
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Produced exclusively for our members, less than 40 cases remain!

This single vineyard merlot presents an incredible aromatic intensity, with
exquisite notes of mocha and a hint of cinnamon and clove. On the palate, it
delivers concentrated and vibrant flavors of cassis, raspberry and candied
cherry. A bright mid palate, granted by the high acidity and elegant tannins, add
depth to the wine while adding incredible weight and structure for a lengthy
130 cases produced

Download Tech Sheet
Varietal Composition: 100% Merlot
Technical Data: ALC: 14.5% by vol.; TA: 6.7 G/L; pH: 3.35
Cooperage: Aged 20 Months in 100% French Oak Barrels (40% New)

The grapes for this wine were harvested by hand, in the early morning, and
quickly brought to the winery in small bins. This is an early ripening merlot, with
incredible acidity credited to the vineyards terroir. The fruit was hand sorted, destemmed and crushed, then placed in open top fermenters (70%) and 500 liter French oak puncheons (30%), where they were cold soaked for two days. The grapes were left on skins for 30 days, a classic technique known as
extended maceration, long used by winemakers to extract color, flavor and tannin from the skins before pressing. While in the fermenters, the grapes were
tasted daily to determine the right tannin level was reached prior to pressing off
the skins. Using 40% new French oak, the wine aged in barrels for 20 months,
with twice yearly racking prior to bottling.
The fruit for this single vineyard wine are sourced from the DeLouise Vineyard, in the Oak Knoll District AVA of Napa Valley. Oak Knoll is located in the
southern portion of Napa Valley, where relatively cooler temperatures mean
grapes can hang longer on the vines before reaching full maturity and without
losing their natural acidity. This additional hang time serves for better flavor development, but it requires extra attentive viticulture practices to ensure
that the fruit gets just the right amount of sunlight and water. This involves practices such as morning side leaf removal - allowing the morning sun to penetrate the vine while protecting clusters from the harsh afternoon sun - and irrigation control - which helps maintain a healthy canopy of leaves, crucial to getting our merlot grapes to optimal ripeness. The unique terroir, combined with
the attention to detail by the viticulture team, yields incredibly elegant and concentrated merlot grapes.
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 worked
hand-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
31 with the picking of grapes for our sparkling wine program, and concluding for
us October 22. 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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