“Perhaps some of the biggest surprises for me were the other Bordeaux blends produced at Stags’ Leap. The 2012 Merlot Estate Block 20 is 100% Merlot aged 18 months in 50% new French oak. This is a beauty, with notes of mocha, white chocolate, black cherry and blackcurrant fruit, a big sweet kiss of espresso on the palate, layers of fruit, and an opulent and sumptuous texture. This is a hedonistic, intellectually satisfying Merlot to drink over the next 12-15 years.” - Robert Parker, March 2016
In a vintage of sought after Cabernet Sauvignons, this Merlot is evidence of the year’s overall quality. It is powerful and concentrated with cherry jam, strawberry, black plum and clove flavors, yet elegant with hints of black tea and vanilla. Notable for its remarkable velvety tannins that frame the dense fruit flavors, the wine is rich, soft and approachable now.
This 2012 vintage marks the fourth release of our Block 20 Estate Grown Merlot, which is sourced solely from its namesake, block number 20, located within our 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 2012 vintage will be remembered for its abundance of high-quality fruit. The season began with exceptional, moderate weather that brought virtually no harm to the grapes all the way through fruit-set, and the long, mild days continued well into the summer. A cooler-than-normal period hit at the end of September, which allowed for the preservation of ideal fruit aromatics, freshness and natural acidity.
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