Napa Valley 2012
2012 proved to be a perfect growing season in Napa Valley. Near-ideal spring bud break, steady flowering, even fruit set and a lengthy stretch of warm days and cool nights provided textbook conditions for the vines. Optimum ripeness was easily achieved, bringing exceptional quality into the cellar. The wines are showing a smooth balance of acids and sugars, great depth of color, and beautiful aromatics. Yields were near-normal in quantity.
The backbone of this Merlot is derived from the Truchard Vineyard in Carneros, where half the grapes are sourced from a relatively cool region. The balance of fruit is sourced from the Nichelini Vineyard in Chiles Valley, adding layers of rich fruit to the palate. The small berry clusters and intense fruit from low-yielding vines create a wine with full flavor and longevity. Both vineyards are under long-term contracts, providing consistency from vintage to vintage.
Vineyards were hand-picked at the peak of maturity. Following harvest, the grapes were gently crushed and fermented. The wines were then aged in small French oak barrels with extended lees contact for twenty months. Only 35% new barrels were used to maintain maximum fruit flavors with just a hint of toasty oak.
Sweet cherry, ripe plum, hints of vanilla and overtones of anise and aged leather appear in the aroma. On the palate, this generous wine features cherry, plum and blackberry fruit with supple tannins and a lingering finish.
• Varietal Composition: 100% Merlot
• Appellation: Napa Valley
• Alcohol: 14.7%
• TA: 0.61g/100ml
• pH: 3.50
• Oak Aging: 20 months
• Oak Cooperage: French oak, 35% new
• Bottling Date: August 19, 2014
• Production: 1,508 cases