On the nose this wine shows its great character immediately. One is greeted by lush black and red currants, hints of coffee and a touch of anise. Aromas of blackberry preserve mix with notes of dark chocolate and white pepper.


The wines reveal a richness and depth of flavor that is most often associated with the Merlot based wines from the Pomerol region of Bordeaux. Our fans often say “this is a Cabernet lovers Merlot”.

The 2016 Michael Black Merlot offers an elegant mélange of plum, pomegranate, and blackberry flavors that richly fills the palate. The persistent finish promises delightful enjoyment for the next fifteen plus years.

Growing Conditions

Michael Black was dedicated to growing exceptional Merlot grapes in his rock-strewn hillside vineyard. To that end he propagated a unique clone that produces small berries and clusters that limits the Merlot grapes from over plumping, while contributing structure in the fruit. The cool climate of Coombsville promotes spicy aromatics and refined tannins.

The 2016 growing season and harvest in Napa Valley was near perfect. Temperatures through July and August remained moderate, allowing the fruit to slowly develop rich and complex flavors.


July 11, 2018


Crush: 100% whole berries

Pre-fermentation: Cold-soaked for 3 days at 55 degrees F.

Fermentation: 5 days followed by 7 days of extended maceration, and malo-lactic fermentation in barrels.


21 months in 100% French oak barrels, 45% new for the vintage