This 2009 vintage marks the inaugural release of our Block 20 Merlot, which is sourced solely from its namesake, block number 20, in our Stags’ Leap Winery estate vineyard. This singular stretch of land sits in the middle of the property where heat exposure is moderate and soil conditions are rich. The resulting crop is very low and perfectly balanced, making this unique production a small lot of wine that offers remarkable depth and concentration.
The 2009 growing season in Napa Valley was notable for its lack of significant weather events. A dry winter gave way to rains in early spring, and temperate weather at the time of bud break brought little in the way of frost damage. Flowering and fruit set were facilitated by dry weather in late spring, and a relatively moderate summer gave the fruit ample time to ripen slowly to its full potential. The temperate heat spikes were ideal for Merlot grapes and the fruit was handpicked in the middle of September, well before rain hit the Valley in early/mid-October.
In order to demonstrate the authentic fruit expression of this unique Merlot block, Winemaker Christophe Paubert utilizes traditional winemaking techniques with a minimal intervention approach. The grapes from this singular lot are handpicked and undergo a three week maceration period, designed to extract flavor, color and tannin from the skins. This Merlot is aged in 100% French oak barrels, with a mix of 50% new and neutral, for 18 months.
Varietal Composition: 100% Merlot