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.
“When everything is perfect in California you can get merlot like this, but it is rare. Rich, savoury and structured, it draws you into the glass with quiet confidence and floral, mineral notes. Plum and raspberry mark the nose, mixed with dried herbs, cedar and a wisp of oak before fairly substantial, dense, tannins fill in the back end. More St. Emilion than Napa, this will need five years of cellar time to reach its zenith. A great demonstration of the power and the finesse of the 2013 vintage.” - Anthony Gismondi, August 2017
With freshness emphasizing its southern Napa origins, the 2013 Merlot combines juicy dark cherry, plum, and pomegranate with subtle notes of cinnamon, clove and cocoa. The generous fruit flavors, polished structure, silky tannins and lush texture show just how complex and refined Merlot can be.
The Napa Valley Merlot is crafted with grapes from vineyards in the southern part of Napa Valley. Fruit from Oak Knoll makes up the majority of the Merlot blend, with the remaining fruit sourced from the Stags’ Leap estate and Oakville. Merlot can lose its varietal identity when exposed to too much heat, but the fruit from these select southerly vineyards exhibit fresh fruit character, structure and bright acidity.
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: 94% Merlot, 4% Malbec, 2% Petite Sirah