2014 Napa Valley Merlot

Since producing our first vintage of Merlot in 1983, we’ve been committed to making the best possible expression of the variety. Understanding that site selection and farming are key to exceptional Merlot, we shifted our focus on sourcing with the 2014 vintage to the Napa side of Carneros, which we believe produces consistently high-quality wines from this noble grape.

Vineyards

Our Merlot is grown in estate-owned and grower-partner vineyards on the Napa side of Carneros, where the clay soils are similar to those of Bordeaux’s Right Bank. The cool climate allows the thin-skinned grapes to gradually develop flavor and tannin while retaining natural acidity.

Winegrowing

The 2014 vintage was another ideal growing season with warm, dry conditions that resulted in excellent fruit quality. Sustainable farming practices throughout the growing season were tailored to each block with the assistance of aerial photos produced using NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) technology. Yields were restricted to enhance fruit quality. All fruit was hand-picked and sorted in the vineyards.

Winemaking

The grapes were carefully destemmed and optically sorted to ensure only perfect fruit made it into the wine. A cold soak extracted color and flavor. About 25% of the wine was barrel-fermented to provide a richer, more textured palate. The wine was gently basket-pressed before being racked to French oak barrels for aging.

Tasting Notes

Aromas of fresh, ripe blueberries, blackberries and boysenberry intertwine with notes of cedar, vanilla and pie crust. This medium-bodied wine is plush with flavors of plums, blueberries and figs upfront, leading to juicy red fruit on the midpalate. Delicious now, its depth and structure provide long cellaring potential.

Reviews

91 Points – Wine Spectator – 2014 Napa Valley Merlot

Rich, ripe and full of powerful flavors of Christmas pudding, dark cherry and black currant that are backed by muscular acidity and tannins. Dried mint and slate details show on the dense finish. Drink now through 2021.

Recipe Pairings

Our favorite Joy of Cooking recipes for this wine include: