Opening with generous aromas of dark plum and bright red fruit, with enticing hints of clove and cinnamon throughout. Juicy red fruit flavors are effortlessly integrated with notes of caramel and savory spice that contribute depth to the polished palate. Smooth, velvety tannins and a refined texture give this Merlot a distinct level of sophistication while still being very approachable in its early years.
This 2011 vintage marks the third release of our Block 20 Estate 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 2011 vintage began with a wet winter and spring that delayed bloom and disrupted fruit set, resulting in lower yields in many parts of Napa Valley. While cool temperatures delayed vine development by several weeks throughout the valley, our Merlot vineyards matured at an even pace and showed normal ripeness by Harvest. The grapes for the 2011 Block 20 Merlot were picked before the October rains and remained unaffected by the autumn storms.
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