(Nose) Lovely dark raspberry and blackberry aroma, surrounded by coffee caramel notes and a little violet vanilla, linked to tannins, as it opens up Palate) Deep dark and dignified entry with warm plum and blackberry flavors still supported with noticeable tannin. Though intense, it is not sweet, and seems younger in texture, probably because of its nice acidity.
Late rains, cool temperatures with fog, and no late season heat combined to make this a most challenging year. We really noticed this in our Oak Knoll vineyards, a cool climate area of Napa even in normal years. Though these vineyards did ripen up nicely, with final Brix in the high 25s and mid 26s, we did a 10% bleed on the Merlot to make sure we had some good intensity. The mountain vineyards came in on Halloween with rain just starting to fall.