2017 MERLOT
DeLouise Vineyard
Oak Knoll, Napa Valley
$80.00  |  Club Price $64.00
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ABOUT
TASTING NOTES
This unique Single Vineyard Merlot presents an incredible aromatic intensity, with exquisite aromas of chocolate, mocha and a hint of blueberry, dried sage and caramel. On the palate it delivers concentrated flavors of boysenberry, 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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WINEMAKING NOTES
Vairetal Composition: 100% Merlot
Technical Data: ALC: 14.5% by vol.; TA: 7.0 g/L; pH: 3.35
Cooperage: 100% French Oak Barrels, combination of barriques and puncheon barrels (40% 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 terroir. 80% of the fruit was hand sorted, and de-stemmed, but not crushed, leaving whole berries. The remaining 20% of grapes were fermented whole cluster; meaning that in some of the tanks, the winemaking team chose to ferment a percentage of the berries with the rachis (or whole cluster). This technique imparts more structure to the mid palate, while adding an interesting aromatic element to the finished wine. Grapes were fermented both in small capacity stainless steel tanks, as well as in 500-liter French oak puncheons. On all fermentation vessels, berries were cold soaked for two days, and then fermented with native yeast. That means that no commercial yeast was added to any of the lots. Fermentation, in the puncheons, lasted 23 days. In the stainless-steel tanks, 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 40% new French oak, the wine aged in barrels for 22 months, with twice yearly racking prior to bottling.
VINEYARD NOTES
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 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.
VINTAGE NOTES
The 2017 vintage saw generous winter rains that refreshed ground water supplies and led to a cool, mild spring which prepared the vineyards for the summertime heat. Harvest began for Artesa on August 11 and moved quickly. A long, even summer ripening season ended with high temperatures in excess of 100 degrees for five days in early August. As a result harvest was completed for us by late September, weeks ahead of usual, and before the devastating fires that broke out on October 8. The 2017 wines show ripe, concentrated flavors and excellent balance.

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