Guess what? Merlot is on the rebound! Suddenly it’s becoming hip again to like a wine that has been out of fashion in recent years. When it realizes its potential, Merlot offers one of the most pleasurable of all red wine experiences. So many seem to forget that some of the most highly regarded and sought after wines in the world come from Pomerol and Saint-Émilion, the land of Merlot.
Our crusade has been made easier with the magnificent grapes coming off the Stewart Vineyard in Carneros. Thirty-five years of winemaking experience has provided me with this insight: you know you are growing the right grape in the right location when it performs year after year. I can say this unequivocally about Stewart Vineyard Merlot. Even in the most difficult vintages it has consistently delivered, and it is typically the “go-to” wine in the barrel room because it tastes so good right from the start.
We were rewarded with another outstanding vintage in 2016. Sunshine and a warm dry spring led to mild and ideal growing conditions throughout the summer. Because of late winter rains, the vines began their growing season a little happier and less stressed than in 2015. With no weather extremes to interfere, grapes ripened slowly and evenly, resulting in beautiful concentration of flavor and aromas.
Our 2016 Merlot exhibits beautiful color—dark ruby close to opaque. Effusive, forward, and enticing aromas draw you in—wild berry, ripe plum, thyme, and vanilla combine to form the complex nose. Bold and expansive berry and spice flavors are supported by a firm tannin and acid structure that will support this wine for many years. Fresh, vibrant and pure, this youthful wine has the grip that announces this is serious stuff!
I’ve said it many times before, our mantra if you will. Wine should offer plenty of pleasure and taste delicious. Here you go!