“Aromas of ripe plum, redcurrant and red licorice. Medium-to full-bodied with silky, slightly tight tannins. Fruit-soaked palate with herbal character adding lovely complexity. Well-structured and long. Better in a few years. 90% merlot, 6% petite sirah and 4% petit verdot. Best after 2025.” - James Suckling, June 1, 2022
A deep garnet, purple hue, this merlot is full of depth and complexity, expressing perfumed aromas of floral violet, blueberry compote and blackberry preserves, alongside fresh savory chaparral herb notes of lavender and thyme. On the palate, earthy notes, reflecting the estate terroir, show mouthwatering dark berry flavors alongside Bing cherry, dark chocolate, anise seed, and warm baking spiced notes of cardamom and clove – also a tribute to the well-integrated French oak barrels. An exemplary Merlot that truly shines, there is depth, focus and balance, with generosity, supported by the rich, velvety texture. Alluring and elegant, this Merlot invites you to sip, savor and repeat – a true classic, finishing with grace and tremendous length, showing the beauty of our estate fruit.
weather and steady temperatures throughout that allowed for even flowering and bud break. These ideal growing conditions were followed by a cool, even and slow-paced harvest which allowed the winery to vinify wines at a gentle pace. The resulting 2018 wines are of very high quality with lower alcohol, concentrated flavors, color and excellent acidity.
This 2018 vintage marks the tenth release of our Block 20 Estate Grown Merlot, which is sourced solely from its namesake, block number 20, located within our estate vineyard. This singular stretch of land sits in the middle of the property where heat exposure is moderate and soil conditions are rich. The resulting crop is very low and perfectly balanced, making this unique production a small lot of wine that offers remarkable depth and concentration.
In order to demonstrate the authentic fruit expression of this unique Merlot block, Winemaker Christophe Paubert utilizes traditional winemaking techniques with a minimal intervention approach. The grapes from this singular lot are handpicked and undergo a three-week maceration period, designed to extract flavor, color and tannin from the skins. This Merlot is aged in 100% French oak barrels, with a mix of 76% new, and neutral oak, for 18 months.
For Christophe Paubert, Winemaker and General Manager at Stags’ Leap Winery, the identity of a wine is found through the terroir. Christophe’s career has spanned the industry from sales to winemaking, and his impressive background includes positions at Chateau d’Yquem and Gruaud-Larose as well as projects in Chile, Spain and Washington State. But it was the terroir of Stags’ Leap that drew him to California.
|Oak Treatment||100% French oak (76% new) for 18 months|
|Blend||90% Merlot, 5% Petite Sirah and 5% Petit Verdot|
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