DeLouise Vineyard
Oak Knoll, Napa Valley
$80.00  |  Club Price $64.00
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Limited production, less than 50 cases available

This unique Merlot presents an incredible aromatic intensity, with exquisite aromas of chocolate, mocha and a hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and caramel. On the palate it delivers concentrated flavors of blueberry, black cherry and plum. Structured and elegant tannins add depth to the wine, while adding incredible weight and structure, for a lengthy finish. A unique wine, made to enjoy for years to come.
275 Cases Produced

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Vairetal Composition: 100% Merlot
Technical Data: ALC: 14.1% by vol.; TA: 7.2 g/L; pH: 3.4
Cooperage: 100% French Oak Barrels (30% New)

The grapes for this wine were hand harvested, in the early morning, and quickly brought to the winery. This is an early ripening Merlot, with incredible acidity, a lot to do with the vineyard's terroir. The fruit was hand sorted by our production crew, destemmed and crushed, then placed immediately in small temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks for fermentation. The grapes were left on the skins for 35 days, a classic technique known as extended maceration, long used by wine makers 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 30% 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 is 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 vinesbefore 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.
Bud break arrived early this year as we had signs of bud break around valentines day and it was a much cooler and foggy season up until August. We didnt get the outrageous high heat in July, August or September, which provided for a longer hang time for the grapes. Overall, quality is high even though we fought off some botrytis pressure. The grapes ripened uniformly and calmly at their own pace, while yields were a tad higher, mostly because we added some new pruning techniques, the flavors are phenomenal. The harvest was smooth and progressed from in its own dimension some varietals sooner than others but mostly because of lower yields in bordeauxs . For the white wines, they are crisp and allow you to taste the coolness of the season. Its was interesting some of the grapesfrom the cooler areas of Carneros compared to the warmer parts of St. Helenawere harvested at the same time.

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