Vintage 2016
Wine Type Red
Varietal Merlot
Region Carneros
Winemaker Trevor Durling
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

Maestro Collection Carneros Merlot shows lovely aromatics of cherry, wild blackberry, and red plum with subtle nuances of rose and sweet dried spices. The opulent red and black-fruit flavors are beautifully balanced, with a framing of fine tannins and natural acidity. This limited bottling of Merlot speaks to a sense of place, with distinctive terroir expression from the shallow soils and cool, windy climate of Napa Valley’s Los Carneros region.

Vineyard Note

We source the Merlot grapes entirely from the Los Carneros AVA, focusing on BV Ranch No. 9. This vineyard is located in one of the warmer areas of this cool, windy region at the southernmost tip of Napa Valley. The site is perfect for Merlot, providing adequate sun exposure for full ripening, yet plenty of cool marine fog for maintaining vibrant acidity. The shallow, clay loam soils (Haire and Diablo series) and cool Pacific Ocean-influenced climate ripen Merlot grapes slowly, allowing for full development of varietal expression and supple, smooth tannins.

Vintage Notes

The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, right around Labor Day, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended mild season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Considered a perfect harvest and a winemaker’s dream vintage, conditions were perfect for producing a Cabernet with beautiful fruit as well as tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity.

Winemaking Notes

We made this wine exclusively for the winery’s tasting room. First, we carefully hand-sorted the grapes for optimum quality. To develop the Merlot’s rich, silky flavors, we cold soaked the destemmed grapes for gentle extraction before fermenting them in stainless steel tanks. After pressing, the wine completed malolactic fermentation in barrels for roundness and complexity. And then 19 months of aging in French oak barrels added intriguing, toasted oak nuances.