Expressive of its origins, our 2011 Napa Valley Merlot emanates the distinction and sophistication of this world-renowned growing region. Haunting aromas of black cherry and rich pomegranate juice are embraced by anise, allspice and cola. A stamp of bright red fruit, indicative of the cool conditions of 2010, opens the palate, unfolding with layers of cranberry, red currant and mocha. The oak influence is apparent in the rich caramel character and fine cocoa tannins on the back of the palate. The finish is equally as elegant as its entry, showing bright cherry-almond notes for a long and lasting impression. Hearty braised meats or grilled rib eye steak will access the many layers of this wine.
The grapes for our Merlot come from several vineyards throughout the Napa Valley, including Yountville, Rutherford, Oak Knoll and Diamond Mountain Ranch. By selecting grapes from various vineyards, we created a comprehensive representation of this world-famous growing region. The cooler sites in the southern end of the Valley encourage fresh, bright fruit aromas. The hillside vineyards add structure and depth and the grapes from “up valley”, where soils are deep and temperatures warm, give dark fruit flavors and long, broad palate.
Following the cool summer, we harvested our Merlot a week to ten days later than usual. This longer hang time allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and develop complex flavors. At the winery, the grapes were cold soaked for two-day, which keeps temperatures down and preserves the nuances of character in fruit. At the completion of fermentation, we aged the lots individually in a combination of French and American oak barrels for 14 months. Before bottling, we tasted each lot blended the characters of each to create a comprehensive profile of the Napa Valley.
The 2010 vintage was cool and long. Moderate temperatures, combined with careful vineyard practices, ensured fruit ripened evenly and the flavors developed to their maximum potential. Extended hangtime allowed the fruit to develop intense, complex flavors.
Source: Agent (Diageo Canada Inc.)