2009 'Silhouette' Chardonnay, Napa Valley
Merryvale Stanly Ranch Estate, Hyde Vineyard
- Hand sorted, whole cluster pressed
- 100% fermented in French oak barrels
- Native yeast and malolactic fermentation
- Bottled unfined and unfiltered
Aged 17 months in French oak (77% new)
14.9% by volume
Silhouette is our most age-worthy white wine. It will gain complexity over the next 5-10 years.
Silhouette is Merryvale’s limited production, top white wine and contains our very best Napa Valley and Carneros Chardonnay fruit, including grapes from our Stanly Ranch Estate Vineyard and the famed Hyde Vineyard. The grapes for Silhouette are handpicked, hand sorted and whole cluster pressed before undergoing native primary and malolactic fermentation in barrels with monthly stirring on the lees. We bottle Silhouette unfined and unfiltered.
For most of the 2009 harvest in Napa Valley, things went smoothly. Early-ripening whites—Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc—and reds, namely Carneros Pinot Noir, were picked at optimal ripening levels, capping a summer of mild, steady weather. Cabernet Sauvignon enjoyed the same ideal growing conditions until October, when a pair of strong storms dumped enough rain to worry growers. Wineries that waited out the deluge faced a mixed bag, but those who picked before the storms, including us, are very excited about the young wines’ overall quality and ripeness at slightly lower alcohol levels.
Bright notes of tangerine, ripe peach, nectarine, and pineapple are complemented by rich notes of honey, nutmeg, toasted hazelnuts and vanilla bean crème brûlée. The lively entry leads into a concentrated, fruit driven mid-palate, with notes of citrus and ripe stone fruit. The finish is framed by notes of grilled apricots, subtle minerality and toasted brioche.