Carneros, Napa Valley, California
Merlot is harvested from five separate hillside locations on the Truchard Estate Vineyard. The differences in soil, exposure, and temperature at each site combine to produce unique growing conditions for the grapes. As a result, the wines from these hillsides each have their own identity, and each contributes different characteristics to the final blend. The vines range from 20 – 42 years old. Cabernet Franc, grown in adjacent areas of the vineyard is added in to provide additional softness, structure, and complexity.
2016 Vintage Notes: The 2016 vintage was another early harvest, similar to 2015. A mild winter with average rainfall provided some drought relief; but bud-break still came 2-3 weeks earlier than normal. Warm spring weather allowed for good berry set and a slightly below average crop. Moderate summer temperatures easily brought the fruit to full maturity. The wines of 2016 have intense aromas and flavors; with nice structure and balance.
All of the fruit was gently destemmed and crushed, then inoculated with Pasteur Red yeast. Each fermentation was pumped-over twice daily, with the temperature peaking at 90º F. Maceration time varied from 12 to 28 days depending on wine lot. The wine was aged for 20 months in French oak barrels (35% new). Rackings occurred every 4 months until bottling in August of 2018. The final blend is 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. This wine is drinkable upon release, but will reward careful cellaring for the next 10 – 15 years.