Blend: 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2014 was a very typical growing season in Napa Valley. Although the winter was drier than normal, early spring rains brought much needed water to the vineyards as bud break began. Outstanding spring weather was followed by an ideal summer of hot days and cool nights. At harvest, the grapes displayed wonderful sweetness and complexity. All of the Merlot and Cabernet grapes in this blend were harvested over a four-week period from mid-September to the middle of October.
Wine: This wine marks a winemaker and winemaking transition. Now-retired winemaker, Dean Sylvester, harvested the fruit in 2014 and new winemaker, Jason Moulton, put the final blend together and bottled it as unfined and unfiltered. The Merlot grapes were grown in the winery’s Estate Vineyard in Rutherford and select vineyards throughout Napa Valley. The Cabernet Sauvignon came from Whitehall’s Millennium Vineyard in Rutherford. Whitehall Lane has always utilized the art of blending to make a Merlot with layers of flavors, complexity and balance. The fruit was fermented at an average of 85°F with gentle pump-overs for excellent flavor and color extraction. The wine was aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels for 19 months.
Notes: The plush red raspberry and cherry flavors and aromas leap from the glass. This merlot has an amazing core of ripe, jammy berry and currant fruit that is beautifully framed by toasty oak. It is supple in texture and shows attractive depth on the finish. Enjoy right now and through 2020 with proper cellaring.