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Vintage 2012
Wine Type Red
Varietal Merlot
Region Napa Valley
Winemaker Christophe Paubert

Established  in  1893,  Stags’  Leap  Winery  is  one  of  the  oldest  wine  estates  within  the  acclaimed Stags Leap district, producing wines expressive of its unique terroir. With an enduring  winemaking  philosophy  of  minimal  intervention,  and  by  using  the  finest  grapes  from  our  own  80-acre  vineyard  and  from  quality-focused  growers,  Stags’  Leap  wines embody a natural balance, exhibiting both intensity and finesse.

Tasting Notes

This expressive Merlot showcases the varietal’s ability to excel in Napa Valley with its generous, juicy fruit flavors, intriguing baking spice notes and polished structure.  It’s incredibly pleasurable and complex with cherry, cranberry, pomegranate, and plum with notes of caramel and cinnamon that persist through the long finish. The wine has depth and nuance with smooth tannins and a lush, lovely texture.

Vineyard Notes

The Napa Valley Merlot is crafted with grapes sourced from vineyards in the southern part of Napa Valley.  Fruit from Oak Knoll makes up the majority of the Napa Valley Merlot, with the remaining 30% of fruit sourced from vineyards in the neighboring appellation of Yountville.  Because Merlot can lose its varietal identity when exposed to too much heat, the fruit from these southern Napa vineyards exhibit fresh fruit character, structured body and bright acidity.

Vintage Notes

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.

Winemaking Notes

The  grapes  for  this  Napa  Valley  Merlot  underwent  a  2-3  week  maceration  period  designed  to  extract  ideal  flavor,  color  and  tannin  from  the  skins.  Using  traditional  winemaking techniques, Winemaker Christophe Paubert aged this Merlot in high quality French  oak  barrels  (35%  new)  for  16  months.  This  deliberate  lesser  percentage  of  new  oak imparts structure, ageability and a slight spice complexity to the wine that still allows the fresh fruit flavors to take center stage.

Varietal Composition: 89% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec, 2% Petite Sirah
ABV: 14.1%

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