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2017 Saddleback Napa Merlot
2017 Saddleback Napa Merlot

2017 Merlot
, Napa Valley

Bold, expressive, and bursting with flavor...

Beautiful dark ruby red in the glass, a good swirl on the nose offers generous aromatics of cassis, black cherry and spice.  It's supple body, gives way to red and dark fruit like plum, blueberry compote, dried prune, with anise and light spice flavors on the finish.  Oaky tannins create a harmony of flavors that are desirable for sipping and enjoyable with a wide variety of foods.  A true Cabernet-lover's Merlot that should not be missed!

Pair with hard cheese, grilled steaks or lamb, splash around to balance the spice and sauces for butter chicken or even wild game meats.

Winemaker: Nils Venge, regarded as one of the foremost pioneers in the Napa Valley wine industry who became the first American winemaker to receive a perfect 100-point rating from Robert Parker on his 1985 Reserve Cabernet while at Groth.

Vintage:  High rain fall at the beginning of the season, a mild winter, and then transitioned into a beautiful spring. There was early bud break and flowering, followed by sunny days and high temperatures through June and August.

Harvest:  Handpicked 5.5 tons of Merlot in the early morning on October 10, 2017 in Oakville. 75% of the fruit originated from their estate vineyard, and 25% from Truchard Vineyard, Carneros.  After the grapes were put through the crusher/de-stemmer they went to tank for a two day cold soak.  The must was inoculated with cultured Montrachet yeast, and fermented and pumped over 12 days at least three times daily to enhance color, flavor and tannin extraction from the skins. After two rackings, the wine was transferred to 60% new French oak barrels.  For additional depth, the wine underwent malolactic fermentation in the barrel over 20 months.

Varietal:  100% Merlot
Appellation: Oakville, Napa Valley
Harvest date:  October 10, 2017
Sugar:  24.8 Brix (average)
Fermentation:  Montrachet yeast
Skin Contact: 2 days in stainless steel
Total acid:  6.5 g/L
pH:  3.9
Aging:  20 months
Cooperage:  20 months in 60% new French oak barrels
Bottling date:  May 2019
Release date:  May 2021
Alcohol: 14.5% by volume

Tasting Notes PDF PDF

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