5% Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2009 growing season was exceptional in our Napa Valley vineyards. The Merlot fruit bloomed in ideal conditions in mid-May and the summer days brought ample sun and heat as the fruit grew and ripened on the vine. The Merlot fruit was harvested from September 18th through the first week of October, the Cabernet fruit was harvested in mid-October and the Syrah was harvested on October 24th.
The Merlot grapes were grown primarily in the winery’s Estate and Bommarito vineyards in Rutherford. 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 two-thirds French and one-third American oak barrels for 18 months. Whitehall Lane has always utilized the art of blending to make a Merlot with layers of flavors, complexity and balance. Syrah enhances the aromas and texture, adding complexity to the wine. Cabernet Sauvignon delivers weight to the mid-palate and increases length on the finish.
The aromas, flavors and finish are all very generous in this elegant Merlot. Blackberry and cherry are at its core with pleasing hints of crushed violet and cedar. It is impeccably balanced, gaining complexity and spiciness from the Syrah and structure from Cabernet Sauvignon. Its finish is long with a lingering hint of toasty oak.