Merlot is a blend of Estate Merlot and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. The percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon ranges from 12 to 18 percent depending on the vintage. The grapes for this wine are picked in very small amounts as each area of the vineyard reaches its peak of ripeness. The grapes are then de-stemmed and the individual berries cracked open by our 20-year-old Healdsburg stemmer/crusher (with the crusher rollers removed) and fermented in small open top fermenters or small stainless steel tanks. After fermentation the pomace is gently pressed in an old fashioned basket press and each pick is put into a stainless steel tank to settle off the gross lees. The wine then goes into our new or used French oak barrels for 19 months of barrel aging.
One of the Napa Valley's most famous Merlots, this bottling comes from the Paloma Vineyard and includes between 14-16% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is aged in one-third new and two-thirds used French oak barrels for 18 months. The results are incredibly ageable, with black fruit, tobacco, spice and chocolate notes as a common thread vintage after vintage.