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2016 Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Valley Merlot

2016 Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Valley Merlot

Beaulieu Vineyard

2016 Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Valley Merlot

Description

Description

We sourced the majority of grapes for this wine from Rutherford, the Los Carneros, and Oakville American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) of Napa Valley. The diversity of soils and mesoclimates in these regions, as well as of clones and cultivation techniques, contribute to this wine’s layers of flavors. Grapes from our estate vineyards in warmer Calistoga contribute juicy, dark-fruit and chocolate expression, while our vineyards in the cooler Los Carneros give bright berry notes. Rutherford vineyards, near our winery in the center of the valley, added plum while enhancing the wine’s silky tannin structure.

Wine & Vintage Details

Wine & Vintage Details

Tasting Note

This 2016 Napa Valley Merlot is one of the best in recent vintages and invites you into the glass with elegant dark aromas of black cherry, ripe plum, cherry compote and toasty brioche pastry. On the palate, there is a broad structure with textured flavors that are plush and full but with grace and elegance interwoven, supported by the fresh acidity. You’ll also discover hints of sweet spice, orange rind and wild sage backed up by the dark fruit core. This is a very drinkable, balanced, yet understated Merlot with tremendous length and great purity of dark berry fruit. A year of aging in European oak barrels added hints of sweet oak spices and dark espresso which are evident on the finish.

Vintage

The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, right around Labor Day, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended mild season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Considered a perfect harvest and a winemaker’s dream vintage, conditions were perfect for producing a Merlot with beautiful fruit as well as tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity.

Vineyard & Winemaking Details

Vineyard & Winemaking Details

Napa Valley AVA

Napa Valley

Vineyard

We sourced the majority of grapes for this wine from Calistoga, Rutherford and the Los Carneros American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) of Napa Valley. The diversity of soils and mesoclimates in these regions, as well as of clones and cultivation techniques, contribute to this wine’s layers of flavors. Grapes from our estate vineyards in warmer Calistoga contribute juicy, dark-fruit and chocolate expression, while our vineyards in the cooler Los Carneros give bright berry notes. Rutherford vineyards, near our winery in the center of the valley, added plum while enhancing the wine’s silky tannin structure./p>

Winemaking

After the grapes were crushed, we fermented the must in stainless steel tanks until dry. Gentle pump-overs during fermentation extracted flavor, deep color and tannins from the skins. We then pressed and transferred all the wines to small oak barrels coopered with French, Hungarian, and American oak to develop and integrate flavors. Following barrel aging, we blended the Merlot with a small amount of complementary varieties to enhance its structure.

Jeffrey Stambor - Former Winemaker

Jeffrey Stambor joined the Beaulieu Vineyard winemaking team in 1989 as a viticulturist/enologist. As the current director of winemaking, he leads production of the winery’s world-renowned Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon, and presided over the harvest and vinification of 2013 Rarity – the extremely limited release Cabernet Sauvignon blend. He is only the fourth director of winemaking in Beaulieu Vineyard’s history, and the third to craft Georges de Latour Private Reserve over the 77-year history of that iconic wine following Andre Tchelistcheff, the original winemaker, and his immediate predecessor, Joel Aiken.

Former Winemaker Jeffrey Stambor

Alcohol % 14.8%
Enclosure Type Cork

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