This Merlot is grown in estate-owned and grower-partner vineyards on the Napa side of Carneros, where the clay soils are similar to those of Bordeauxs Right Bank. The cool climate allows the thin-skinned grapes to gradually develop flavor and tannin while retaining natural acidity. Winemaking: The grapes were carefully destemmed and optically sorted to ensure only perfect fruit made it into the wine. A cold soak extracted color and flavor. About 25% of the wine was barrel-fermented to provide a richer, more textured palate. The wine was gently basket-pressed before being racked to French oak barrels for aging. Tasting notes: Aromas of fresh, ripe blueberries, ripe plum and black currant intertwine with notes of cedar, vanilla and pie crust. This medium bodied wine is plush with flavors of plums, blueberries and figs upfront, leading to juicy red fruit on the midpalate. Delicious now, its depth and structure provide long cellaring potential. Varietal composition: 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 40% new.