Napa Cellars Merlot 2017
September 13–October 27, 2017
T.A.: 0.55 g / 100ml
12 months, 28% new oak (100% French)
The 2017 Napa Cellars Merlot boasts aromas of plum and black cherry, sweet espresso, rose petal, dried herbs and bergamot on the nose. Flavors of dark berry flavors with treacle, tobacco, vanilla and toasted caramel notes dance on the juicy palate. This balanced wine showcases medium body and long, drying tannins. The wine finishes with a cedar character and showcases medium body, soft structure, good length and bright fruit that pairs well with a wide range of food.
Grapes for the 2017 Napa Cellars Merlot are sourced from vineyards mainly from the Oak Knoll region, along with a small portion from Atlas Peak and Carneros regions ideal for cultivating Merlot grapes. The moderate to cool climate in Napa Valley supports an extended growing season, resulting in elegant, intricate, complex and balanced wine.
Once harvested, the grapes underwent a 12 to 16 day maceration period and were fermented using the délestage method. This process allows the winemaker to extract copious amounts of color and flavor from the skins, while avoiding excessive extraction of bitter and astringent flavors. After the fermentation process completed, the wine was aged for 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 28% of which were new.
The 2016 growing season in Napa Valley started out with unseasonably warm temperatures, though welcomed rains occurred in the late winter and early spring after years of drought. Bud break was early though slowed with April showers leading to a harvest that was still early, though with a heavier crop than the 2015 vintage.