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.
“A fresh and aromatic red with black cherry and hints of wet earth. Medium to full body, lightly velvety tannins and a pretty finish. Linear and clean. Drink now.” - James Suckling, December 2017
"Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Merlot Block 20 Estate has a wonderfully spicy nose of cloves, cinnamon stick and nutmeg with a core of blackberries and black cherries plus hints of pencil shavings and black loam. Medium bodied, it has a fine frame of chewy tannins and just enough muscular fruit, finishing with a lively herbal lift. 490 cases were made." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, December 2016
This is an exuberant Merlot with pronounced flavors of bright Bing cherry, ripe plum, red currant, cherry blossom and hints of spiced anise seed. Showcasing they variety’s ability to shine in Napa Valley, this dense, expressive Merlot shows balanced dark berry and black cherry fruit flavors intertwined with enticing cinnamon spice notes and a hint of black pepper on the finish. Velvety tannins and a rich texture add depth, nuance and complexity to this sophisticated and elegant Merlot.
This 2014 vintage marks the sixth 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.
Despite drought conditions, the 2014 vintage proved to be ideal, with excellent quality reminiscent of 2012 and 2013. The winter was one of the driest on record in California, but substantial rains in early spring were timely and set up the vines for a strong start. Summer temperatures were milder than expected with no extremes, and after early budbreak and veraison, harvest was unusually early in 2014. Despite this, the overall dry season was ideal for producing an expressive and structured Merlot.
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 oak, for 18 months.
Varietal Composition: 100% Merlot