2012 was a near-ideal growing season in Napa Valley, with a warm, dry spring fostering early budbreak and trouble-free flowering and grape set. Consistently mild summer weather free of rain or unwelcome heat spikes allowed us to harvest our merlot grapes with an optimal balance of ripe, concentrated fruit flavors and lively acidity.
Ninety-six percent of the grapes for our 2012 Napa Valley Merlot came from our estate Suscol Springs Ranch in southeastern Napa Valley, a vineyard planted primarily to Bordeaux varieties and featuring a hilly topography, rocky, well-drained soils, and a desirable southern exposure. Because Suscol Springs is a cool, windy site, it fosters bright acidity in our grapes, lifting the flavors of our merlot and providing excellent structure for aging
We ferment our various vineyard lots of merlot in a mix of small closed and open-top stainless steel tanks, pumping the fermenting juice over the ‘cap’ of skins and other solids that form at the top of the tank to fully extract color, flavor and tannin from the skins. Once fermentation completes, we transfer the new wines to carefully selected French oak barrels (40% new in 2012), where they age for six months before being blended. The blended wine then spends an additional 12 months in barrel prior to bottling.
Vineyards: Napa Valley, 80% estate Total acidity: 0.65 g/100 ml Harvest dates: October 2-16, 2012 pH: 3.51 Fermentation: 100% stainless steel Bottled: April, 2014 Barrel aging: 18 months in French oak barrels, 40% new Winemaker: Julianne Laks