TASTING NOTES 78% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Syrah, 1% Malbec, & 1% Petit Verdot Everything we love about Merlot is here: its soft, silky palate, deliciously juicy fruits and easy approachability. Our 2012 Napa Valley Merlot takes that goodness and adds wonderfully concentrated cassis, black plum, dried herb, wild violet and dusty cinnamon aromas and flavor with an intriguing savory note on the long, velvety finish. PRODUCT NOTES Following two cooler and wetter growing seasons, the 2012 vintage was “a walk in the park”, says Vineyard Manager Matt Ashby. A dry winter led to well-timed rain in March which saturated the soils and helped fill the reservoirs. The region’s combination of warm days and cool nights endured through the growing season creating the perfect recipe for long, flavor-building hang time and optimal sugar to acid balance. We harvested our selected Napa Valley grapes for this wine between September 27th and October 17th. VINEYARD NOTES The majority of the fruit for this wine comes from the Stag’s Leap District, a region renowned for its velvety delivery and the smooth, fleshy mouthfeel we look for in Merlot. The volcanic and other shallow soils of the region suppress vine vigor, resulting in low yields of fruit of elegance and formidable intensity. A small amount of fruit from other select Napa Valley AVAs contributed added complexity, each sub-region bringing something a little different to the blend. Appellation: 100% Napa Valley Grape Sourcing: 80% Stag’s Leap District, 14% Oak Knoll, and Napa Carneros WINEMAKING NOTES The grapes were hand harvested in the cool of the morning, then gently de-stemmed and crushed. Nearly one third of the wine was fermented in French-oak tanks in our To Kalon Cellar for soft, supple tannins and textural interest. The balance went into stainless steel tanks for purity of fruit expression. Nineteen days of maceration maximized color and flavor extraction and polished the tannins for a lush, round mouthfeel. The new wine was transferred to 60-gallon French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and sixteen months aging to develop greater roundness and depth. Smaller amounts of complementary varieties were included in the blend, further enhancing the wine’s structure, balance and complex flavor profile.