The Vineyards For the 2006 Napa Valley Merlot, Winemaker Laurie Hook chose several Napa Valley vineyards to create a Merlot with layers of flavors, aromas and complexity. The majority of the grapes come from Beringer's Big Ranch Road Vineyard, which is found just north of the town of Napa and has consistently shown itself to have great Merlot growing conditions. Merlot from the DeCarle Vineyard in Oakville, as well as some Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc were added to the final blend to create a rich flavorful Merlot.
Winemaking Winemaker Hook was able to get excellent extraction during fermentation that resulted in plush, chewy tannins and bright fruit characteristics. As has become tradition, she kept all of the lots separate and aged the wines in oak barrels (one third new) for 14 months to integrate the extracted fruit and tannins, while adding enticing brown spice aromas and flavors to the wine. The addition of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc contributed to the color, depth and structure of this complex Merlot.