2015 Meritage, Napa Valley


2015 MERITAGE
Napa Valley
$55.00  |  Club Price $44.00
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TASTING NOTES
A blend of varietals and vineyard sites with an ample variety of soils, clones and rootstocks, brings enormous complexity to this wine. You will find aromas and bold flavors of boysenberry, bright cherry and plum, with hints of cocoa powder and marzipan. The core of this blend is Merlot, with its bright and elegant red fruit notes. The Cabernet Sauvignon grants the wine its unique structure and round tannins, while the Petit Verdot and Malbec provide lushness and fruit intensity. Firm and nicely integrated tannins make for a smooth and long finish to this multi-dimensional Napa Valley wine.
600 cases produced


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WINEMAKING NOTES
Varietal Composition: 64% Merlot, 18% Petit Verdot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec
Technical Data: ALC: 14.5% by vol.; TA 6.3 G/L; pH 3.50
Cooperage: 100% French Oak Barrels (25% New)

The grapes for this wine were hand-picked in the early morning, over several weeks, as each varietal and vineyard block achieved ripeness and full flavor development. Each lot was de-stemmed, but not crushed, and placed in small stainless steel tanks for fermentation. Twice daily pumpovers helped to extract color and flavor from the grape skins. The new wine was placed in 100% french oak, with roughly 25% new barrels, where it underwent malolactic
fermentation. All components of this wine were racked twice, tasted monthly,
and kept separate until blending, to slowly progress into this unique blend.
VINEYARD NOTES
We sourced the majority of the grapes for this wine from two unique vineyards, one high elevation mountain vineyard and one cool temperature valley floor vineyard, to capture the complexity of two distinct Napa Valley AVAs. The
grapes from the mountain vineyards located in Atlas Peak were grown on well drained sites above the fog line. These low-vigor vines grow in soils that drain the spring rains quickly and bear low yields of small berries and bring intense flavor and structure to the wine. The fruit from the valley floor comes from Oak Knoll. This AVA 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 grants the fruit great flavor development, and perfect phenolic ripeness. The blend of these two distinct fruit profiles is displayed in the wines perfect balance and elegant fruit complexity.
VINTAGE NOTES
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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