2009 Merlot, Napa Valley
80% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 6% Malbec
Hyde, Sugarloaf, Stanton, Stagecoach
- Handpicked, Triple Sorted
- Extended maceration
- Aged 22 months in French oak (50% new)
- Minimal handling; only racked twice
- Unfined and unfiltered
Aged 22 months in French oak (50% new)
14.5% by volume
Decant in its youth and enjoy over the next 10 years.
Sourced mostly from the cooler, southern part of the Napa Valley, the fruit was hand-picked and triple-sorted before undergoing an extended cold soak, with 2 weeks on the skins. After primary fermentation and native malolactic fermentation, the wine was aged for 22 months in 50% new French oak and minimally racked before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Vintage 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. Tasting Notes Our 2009 Napa Valley Merlot displays aromas of chocolate, plum and blackberry, with subtle notes of smoked bacon and toast. Although this is a serious and structured Merlot, the tannins are surprisingly soft due to the addition of some plush Cabernet Franc and Malbec.