Merlot 2018

$45 / Bottle (750ml)

“Easily one of the best Napa Valley Merlots out there.”- Wine Enthusiast Magazine

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“Easily one of the best Napa Valley Merlots out there.”- Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Scores

  • BTI 94
  • Wine Enthusiast 92
  • CGCW 92
  • James Suckling 92
  • Decanter 92

4.1

Merlot flourishes in relatively cool growing regions with moist soils, making it an ideal match for certain parts of our estate vineyard, located in the Oak Knoll District of the Napa Valley, a sweet spot between warmer up-valley regions and the cool southern tip.

The Vintage

Ample rainfall in the spring recharged the soil profile and provided a strong start to the growing season. The weather during the summer featured consistent warmth and sunshine without any major heat spells. Cooler than average temperatures in August and September slowed the ripening process, providing long hang time and leading to complex flavor development. October was mostly dry and warmer than usual allowing us to pick each block at optimal ripeness. The harvest was complete before November and the start of an epic rainy season.

The Wine

Aromas of ripe raspberry and plum are layered with earthy spices of black pepper and tea leaves. Concentrated red fruit flavors are fresh and bright on the palate leading to expansive notes of spice and forest floor. The finish is well-rounded with balanced tannins and graceful acidity.

Food Affinities

Dishes with thyme or allspice enhance the beautifully fresh spice notes in this vibrant Merlot. Winery Chef Chris Kennedy suggests pairing it with savory dishes like Merlot-glazed barbecued chicken, pepper-crusted grilled Ahi tuna, or our Sautéed Chanterelle Mushrooms.

Download Tasting Notes

Sautéed Chanterelle Mushrooms

See Recipe

Accolades

94 POINTS
GOLD
Beverage Testing Institute
February 2021

92 POINTS
Wine Enthusiast
June 2020

92 POINTS
James Suckling
“Lovely balance and firmness to this red with blackberry, ash, black-olive and walnut aromas and flavors. It’s medium-to-full-bodied with a tight tannin backbone and a fresh finish. Drink or hold.” – January 2021

92 POINTS
Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine
“Medium ruby color; attractive, ripe, spicy, dark cherry and raspberry fruit aroma with hints of baking spices, black pepper, and cocoa powder; full body; red fruit flavors with spicy notes, bright acidity, a hint of dark chocolate, and pleasing richness in the elegant mouthfeel; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very enjoyable to drink now, though best to bottle age for several more years.” – January 2021

91 POINTS
Decanter World Wine Awards
“Fresh and poised, with sweet tobacco notes to jammy red and dark fruits, prunes and chocolate. Complexity and textural wealth.” – January 2020

90 POINTS
International Wine & Spirits Competition
May 2021

RESERVE CLASS CHAMPION
GOLD
Houston Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition
November 2020

BEST MERLOT
GOLD
Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition
October 2020