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95% Napa Valley Merlot, 5% Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, with 57% of the fruit harvested from estate-owned vineyards and 43% from independent growers.
Grapes were harvested at an average 24.8° Brix, fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged 18 months in a combination of new French oak barrels (30%) and older French oak (70%) before being blended and bottled in August, 2003.
Similar to the Cabernet Sauvignon with its extractive, well-balanced flavors, the 2001 Merlot is round, lush and approachable, with a subtle, mocha-like nose followed by a dash of allspice and floral essence. Supple tannins, hints of dark chocolate and well-integrated oak end in a lengthy finish that will continue to develop.