Beringer’s Napa Valley Merlot is a vibrant expression of this beautiful varietal and the depth and complexity of flavor it can exhibit when grown in the right place. Winemaker Laurie Hook selects vineyards and blocks from AVAs up and down the
valley to craft a wine that is the quintessential expression of Napa Valley terroir.
VINTAGE & VINEYARDS
Vintage 2010 welcomed the return of rainfall to the region with annual precipitation averaging about twenty percent above average. With few exceptions, the growing season was slightly cooler than normal overall with healthy grapevines appellation-wide. A heat spike at the end of August accelerated ripening in some vineyards and helped deliver a harvest of fine quality. The majority of this wine was made from grapes grown on Beringer’s Gamble Ranch in Yountville, a relatively cool vineyard which produces Merlot of exceptional character and quality. Laurie also chose lots from several other vineyards, including Bancroft Ranch, one of our reserve vineyards in the Howell Mountain AVA. The grapes were harvested over a three week period from September 30 to October 21, 2010 as each vineyard block achieved ripeness and full maturity.
Kept in separate small lots until the final blending, the grapes for our Merlot were picked, quickly brought to the winery and placed in small stainless steel tanks for a 2-day cold soak designed to extract color and flavor from the grapes. The juice was then fermented dry and the young wine was placed in small French oak barrels (20% new) for fourteen months. The final blend includes 5% Petite Sirah and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon for added color, richness and structure on the palate.
LAURIE’S TASTING NOTES
This is a juicy wine with generous flavors of black cherry preserves, dark plum and sweet anise. Notes of cocoa and mocha mingle with the fruit on the palate, while round tannins coat the mouth and leave a long and lasting impression. A classic Napa Valley Merlot that promises at least five to seven years of enjoyment.