Vintage 2015
Wine Type Red
Varietal Merlot
Region Carneros
Winemaker Jeffrey Stambor

Our Carneros Merlot captures the distinctive, vibrant berry, rose and spice expression of the grapes grown in our vineyards in the Los Carneros American Viticultural Area. The enticing aromas and silky flavors are filled with bright raspberry and wild cherry character. Subtle nuances of sun-warmed red rose, spice and mocha and a hint of sweet smoke from oak barrels add complexity. Fine, integrated tannins softly structure the wine and carry the impression of crushed ripe berries through the lingering finish. Our Merlot makes an especially delicious pairing with lamb shish kebabs; steak; roast duck or turkey; grilled mushrooms and mellow, aged cheeses.

Tasting Notes

This 2015 Napa Valley Merlot jumps from the glass with aromas of dark black cherry, ripe plum,  blackberry  and  dark  chocolate.  On  the  palate,  there  is  ample  structure  with  textured  flavors that are plush and full, with grace and elegance supported by the fresh acidity. You’ll also discover hints of sweet spice, black mission fig and black licorice. This is a very drinkable, mouth-pleasing Merlot of good length and great purity of fruit. A year of aging in European oak barrels added hints of sweet oak spices and espresso.  

Vineyard Note

We sourced the majority of grapes from Calistoga, Rutherford and the Los Carneros AVAs of Napa  Valley.  The  diversity  of  soils  and  mesoclimates  in  these  regions,  as  well  as  clones  and  cultivation  techniques,  contribute  to  this  wine’s  layers  of  flavors.  Grapes  from  our  estate  vineyards  in  warmer  Calistoga  contribute  juicy,  dark-fruit  and  chocolate  expression,  while  our  vineyards in the cooler Los Carneros provide bright berry notes. Rutherford vineyards, near our winery in the center of the valley, added plum while enhancing the wine’s silky tannin structure. 

Winemaker's Note

After the grapes were crushed, we fermented the must in stainless-steel tanks until dry. Gentle pump-overs during fermentation extracted flavor, deep color and tannins from the skins. We then pressed and transferred all the wines to small oak barrels coopered with French, Hungarian and  American  oak  to  develop  and  integrate  flavors.  Following  barrel  aging,  we  blended  the  Merlot with a small amount of complementary varieties to enhance its structure. 

Vintage Notes

A mild winter across California lead to early budbreak in 2015, but limited rain and moderate temperatures through the growing season caused the overall length of the growing season to be consistent with previous years. 2015 yields were slightly lower than the previous year, which lead  to  exceptional  quality,  resulting  in  a  Merlot  with  tremendous  concentration  of  flavors,  highly saturated color and layers of complexity.