Softened from extended barrel-age, the 2015 offering is on the dark, dense-end of the Merlot spectrum. Framed by baking spices, namely cardamom, nutmeg, and clove, the wine's cassis core is persistent from start to finish. A touch of Manderin orange rind on the back end provides an unexpected aromatic lift.
Our Estate Merlot is grown at our Eakle Ranch just a short drive from the winery. The 12 acres of Merlot planted in 2001 are in a vineyard rich with the soils enhanced by minerals produced by a faultline that runs adjacent to the vines. Lower yields particularly in the 2015 vintage gave us concentrated fruit that shows Cabernet-like structure with the distinct qualities that we all love in Napa Merlot.
Berries were 100% destemmed to tank and fermented over the course of 18 days. Upon pressing, the wine was racked to 60 gal French oak barrels, of which 30% were new, where it rested for 35 months prior to bottling.