This Reserve Merlot is sourced from a combination of our original estate vineyards in Rutherford as well as cooler vineyard sites in Napa Valley. We specifically selected premier vineyard blocks situated on well-draining soils within Napa Valley, promoting lower yields with smaller berry size and higher skin-to-juice ratio, crafting a superior quality wine.
The aromatic nose is full of briary red berries, cassis, and fresh fig, alongside delicate oak notes of espresso and cocoa nib. These oak characteristics intermingle well with the red berry fruit flavors creating a well-rounded expression that is the perfect accompaniment with any meal. The tannins are focused and approachable with a lovely line of acidity that beams through the lengthy finish. Incredibly drinkable now and can be aged for many years to come.
The beginning of the 2019 growing season was defined by copious rainfall and late soil moisture. 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.
Grapes for this wine were sourced from our original Rutherford estate vineyard, BV Ranch No. 1, and from our long-time growing partner, Shifflett Vineyard, in cooler-climate Yountville. These specifically selected blocks along the Rutherford bench and western benchland of Napa Valley have well-draining soils which creates just enough stress to allow for smaller yields; resulting in smaller berries and a higher skin to juice ratio.
The grapes for this Reserve Merlot benefited from our state-of-the-art optical sorter technology, which scrutinizes every berry to obtain the highest quality fruit. After, 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 oak to develop and integrate flavors over the next 15 months.
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