Napa Cellars Merlot 2016
September 15–October 21, 2016
T.A.: 0.53 g / 100ml
19 months, 30% new oak (100% French)
The 2016 Napa Cellars Merlot boasts aromas of blackberry, black cherry, ripe plum and hints of rose petal, spice and cedar. Flavors of ripe blackberry and cherries, with nutty vanilla, spice and cedar notes on the finish that coat the palate and are complemented by smoky-oak and tobacco. 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.
10 Commendable California Merlots List - Wine Spectator, September 2018 “Offers undercurrents of cocoa powder and hints of paprika to the lively red fruit and spice flavors. Medium-grain tannins turn silky on the finish.”
Grapes for the 2016 Napa Cellars Merlot are sourced from vineyards mainly from the Oak Knoll region, along with a small portion from Atlas Peak, Carneros and Rutherford—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 10 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 19 months in 100% French oak barrels.
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.