Bold, focused and racy, the silky, garnet colored 2017 Merlot engages the nose with vibrant spicy plumb, rich humus and cedar laced aromatics that overflow onto the palate with more intensely characteristic flavors of black cherry, dark berry and plum fruits which layer with Kirsch and espresso notes. The tannins are firm, but also very approachable and well balanced. The lasting tannin and fresh fruit call out for some additional cellaring.

Growing Conditions

The year began with abundant rainfall, followed by a mild Spring resulting in extended flowering with little shatter. A Labor Day weekend heatwave kicked harvest into high gear, then cool weather allowed sugar levels to return to normal. By October 8 nearly 90 percent of the 2017 grape tonnage was in when warm, fierce winds fueled an unprecedented firestorm. Napa Valley's winemakers remain committed to upholding the region's reputation for making some of the world's finest wines and early articles about the 2017 vintage describe the wines with words such as "finesse," "great complexity of flavor" and "elegant."