The 2013 Herencia Merlot is aged 22 months in barrel with 70% new oak french oak.
The wine exhibits a nicely layered, multi dimensional personality with deep,full bodied flavors and a sense of elegance and symmetry. Wine Description/Winemakers Goal/Notes- The wine is complex and concentrated with flavors that harbor a pretty core of spicy currant ,anise, sage and cedar, turning supple and harmonious on the finish, where the flavors fan out and show remarkable depth and finesse.
From the Chiles Valley nestled in the Vaca Mountains on the northeast side of Napa Valley. The appellation has a warmer and more continental climate than other portions of Napa. This is because the cooling fog and winds that moderate night temperatures in Chiles Valley retreat earlier then most of Napa after sun rise and thus grapes are allowed long hang-time and freedom to develop full concentrated flavors and complexities in an ideal Mediterranean climate. This vineyard was planted in 1971. It is head trained spur pruned dry farmed old vines. Special care was given to canopy management in this vineyard to ensure the leaves sheltered the clusters from the harsh afternoon sun, but allowed the morning sunlight to gently penetrate the canopy to promote ripeness. Because the vines were dry farmed meticulous crop thinning was performed in order to allow the vines to ripen a very small crop.
The Merlot was harvested at an optimal level of ripeness in mid October. The Merlot grapes were cold soaked for five days before the onset of primary fermentation. The fermentation took place at a high temperature to ensure that maximum extraction was achieved before the wine was pressed off the skins after 15 - 20 days. The wine was then put into french oak barrels 80 % new and the balance once used where they underwent 100% malolactic fermentation . The Merlot was aged for 18 months before it was bottled.
The 2013 Growing Season was marked by healthy winter rains, followed by a spring and summer that showed low rainfalls events. We encountered very few frost nights in the spring, few significant heat spikes and almost no high wind events.In addition the season presented uniform growing days all that we feel has contributed to a great balance of acidity and sugar, good color and tannin structure and optimal flavor development.