Rich and inviting, this Merlot offers aromas of raspberry jam, figs, sage and pepper. On the palate the wine has subtle vanilla oak flavors, silky tannins, a rich mouthfeel and a lingering finish of berries and spice. Enjoy this classic Napa Valley Merlot with roasted chicken with sautéed wild mushrooms or herb-crusted fish or pork loin served alongside parmesan risotto.
Almost 75% of the grapes for this wine were grown on Napa Valley’s Atlas Peak with 20% from the ARCADIA Vineyard and the remaining from our estate vineyard, Danika Ranch, in the Oak Knoll District, and few other select vineyards in Napa Valley. With 96% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a fruit-driven wine with great balance, fresh acidity and minerality. After fermentation, this wine was aged for 16 months in French oak barrels, 31% of them new.
The 2011 vintage was a cool, wet and late vintage. The cool, wet weather pattern extended from winter through the spring until about mid-June. Many vines experienced a delayed bud-break and the unusually wet spring disrupted bloom, resulting in lower fruit set in some vineyards. The summer was mild and without the normal extended heat spikes providing a cool, slow glide into harvest. This was a year where it was very important to do timely “detail” work in the vineyards to open up the vine’s canopy. This allowed for light, air and warmth to penetrate the fruit zone and aimed the fruit in the direction of ripeness. At harvest the importance of cluster selection, both in the vineyard and at the winery, could not be overlooked. Despite the lighter crop and overall weather pattern in 2011, the signature Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars style of balance, elegance and restraint shines through in this wine.