Nose

Cherry jam, blackberry jam and briar aromas are layered with cola, vanilla toast, black pepper, and licorice.

Palate

The lush, rich entry on the palate is balanced, though the tannins grip tightly at the finish and will allow for many years of aging.

Growing Conditions

In the heart of Napa Valley, our Yountville Estate has an amazing lineage spanning over 140 years. Located on a hillside benchland, the well-drained soils are relatively thin due to their position atop the ancient alluvial fans. The Merlot budwood selections were originally taken from the famed Three Palms Vineyard. Our favorite Merlot block, atop the knoll, produces intensely flavored berries of miniscule size. The volcanic ash soils at the ranch are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and exhibit a chalky texture in our wines. The recently replanted Cabernet Franc allowed us to maintain a portion of our "suitcase" clonal selection but also add the La Jota Vineyard selection, from the first ever varietal bottled Cabernet Franc in California. This blend comes together in much the same harmony in which it grows in the field. The 2013 growing season was perfect! Below average rainfall, early spring bud break, even fruit set and a hot summer. All of us in Napa Valley fast-tracked our summer bottlings to make room for an early harvest. However, the month of August cooled enough to allow multiple vineyard visits confirming that our white varietals had above average yields. This, in turn, was slowing down their arrival to the winery. Meanwhile, the small berry size on our red grapes had them rushing ahead of schedule. We started crushing Merlot practically from day one. Fast and furious was the ultimate pace of the vintage from beginning to end!

Bottling

Bottled May 2015

Winemaking

13 Days Skin Contact; 100% Stainless Steel Fermentation

Aging

17½ Months Barrel Aged in French Oak; 70% New Oak

Food Pairing

Slow-roasted short ribs over a bed of creamy polenta will certainly provide a happy pairing