Because Merlot flourishes in relatively cool growing regions with moist soils, it’s extremely well-suited to the ancient alluvial loams, temperate climate, and long growing season of our estate vineyard in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, a sweet spot between Napa’s warmer up-valley regions and its cool southern tip.
7% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley
100% Main Ranch
- September 3 - October 26
17 months in 69% French
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The vines got off to a slow start as April and May were both cooler and wetter than average. The cool trend continued into the mild summer and a full growing season that was our coolest since 1978. The exception was one notable heat spell in late August, when temperatures soared to over 111° F! Fortunately, September and October brought enough warm days to provide a beautiful finish to the growing season, allowing us to complete harvest a full week earlier than in 2009.The Wine
Beautiful aromas of cherry and chocolate encircle the nose with a robust body of berry, plum and currant. A long and lush finish follows with hints of molasses.Food Affinities
Try with richly sauced dishes such as steak (or even fish) in a red wine sauce, grilled chicken, chops (lamb or pork), meatloaf and prime rib.Accolades
90 POINTS vintage 2009
“Smooth, fresh and mellow with nice spice and elegant flavors of plum and cinnamon; juicy and charming.”
Anthony Dias Blue, The Tasting Panel, January 2013
TOP TEN HOLIDAY WINES
Gayot, December 2012
PLATINUM vintage 2009
San Diego International Wine Competition,
BEST MERLOT ~ Winemaker Challenge vintage 2008
(900 Wines Tasted)
Robert Whitley, January 2012
TOP 5 MERLOTS vintage 2008
(80 International Merlots Tasted)
"After being slammed by Hollywood, Merlot is getting its due again"
Bob Ecker, Napa Valley Register,
93 POINTS vintage 2007
“Easily one of the best Napa Valley Merlots out there.”
Editors’ Choice Wine Enthusiast Magazine
vintage 2002 "...Reminds me of the best merlots produced in the Pomerol region of France..."
Bob Hosmon, Syndicated Columnist
vintage 2001 "...reminiscent of the ethereal, merlot-based wines made by Christian Moueix in Pomerol..."
Ben Giliberti, Washington Post