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.
“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 2022
An alluring merlot, full of depth and complexity, the wine opens with a beautiful bouquet of floral violet, crushed blueberry, and black cherry, supported by fresh chaparral herb notes of lavender and Bay Laurel. On the palate, an earthier character showcases the estate terroir, demonstrating saturated, dark blackberry and spiced plum, alongside bittersweet dark chocolate, licorice, and warmer spiced notes of vanilla, cardamom, and clove – a nod to the well-integrated French oak barrels. A truly tantalizing Merlot with focus, concentration, and balance, supported by the rich, velvety texture and mouthwatering acidity. The embodiment of elegance, this Merlot is a gem - classic in style, finishing with grace and unwavering length and structure.
The 2019 harvest started one to two weeks later than previous years, mostly due to February rains, but because the vines were in their winter dormancy, it did not affect the 2019 crop. Spring continued to be wet with some rain during flowering, followed by cool temperatures that allowed the grapes to mature gradually. Most grapes ripened at lower sugars, thanks to the extended, cool growing season, and winemakers were pleased with the full flavors, fresh acidity, and superb balance of the 2019 fruit. The resulting crop showed a modest yield with a slightly more compact structure and extract than in previous years.
This 2019 vintage marks the eleventh 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, our winemakers utilize 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 50% 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 (50% new) for 18 months|
|Blend||90% Merlot, 6% Petite Sirah and 4% Petit Verdot|
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