2016 Bell Merlot, Yountville, Napa Valley | Item No. 2346
2016 Bell Merlot, Yountville, Napa Valley | Item No. 2346
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2016 Bell Merlot, Yountville, Napa Valley | Item No. 23462016 Bell Merlot, Yountville, Napa Valley | Item No. 2346

2016 Bell Merlot, Yountville, Napa Valley
Item No. 2346 | In Stock - Ships in 3-5 Business Days

Deep in color, with invitingly bright, red berry aromatics on the nose. Very soft and lush on the palate with a fine tannin and lively acidity to balance it out perfectly.

price $65.00
club price $55.25

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2016 Bell Merlot, Yountville, Napa Valley

Vineyard
Our Merlot grapes are estate grown on the winery’s Spanos Berberian Estate Vineyard in Yountville approximately one mile south of the Yountville Hills. Yountville enjoys the early morning fog and cool growing conditions of the maritime influenced southern Napa Valley, whilst the early receding fog gives us more sunlight and warmer daytime temperatures than the more southerly Carneros region.  Our warm summer daytime temperatures and cool evenings result in grapes with rich fruit flavors and an excellent acid balance.

Vinification
Merlot grapes were hand-harvested and gently crushed to minimize crushing of berries and maximize fruit character.  We fermented at 85 degrees-F with a Bordeaux yeast strain, and extracted color utilizing gentle irrigation over the skins.  Following fermentation the wine underwent malo-lactic fermentation and was then racked to barrel.  The wine was barrel aged in French oak barrels (51% new) for 18 months. 

Vintage Notes
2016 began following four continuous years of drought.  Thankfully, over 16 combined inches of rain in January and March eased those worries and the growing season began with bud break 5-10 days early.  With a full soil moisture profile provided by continuing light rains in early spring and no major heat events, fairly even shoot growth was seen throughout the valley.  No significant frost damage occurred, boosting everyone’s hopes for a normal crop load after the dismal harvest size of 2015.  Like bud break, harvest began a little early, but it wasn’t as rushed as the previous year.  During harvest, three significant heat spikes brought temperatures briefly into the high 90s before dropping back to the normal range.  With each dehydrating heat spike, the ability to determine optimal ripeness became a puzzle.  Appearances were deceiving; great patience and continued fruit sampling were key in delivering quality grapes.  Tannins seemed supple and well-integrated very early on.  Small clusters were filled with small berries, which promise intense color and flavors.

Tasting Notes
True to the tremendous terroir of our estate vineyard, 2016 brings another outstanding Merlot.  The deep garnet color represents the concentrated vintage. Bright cranberry, dark plum and a vast array of spices and earthiness are all present on the nose.  The entry drinks beautifully right out of the gate.  A stunning blend of red and black fruits, great acidity and a firm structure to balance it out perfectly. Medium bodied to compliment a wide variety of cuisines, never to interrupt the dish, only to enhance.
Technical Analysis
Varietal       Merlot (95%), Cabernet sauvignon (4%), Malbec (1%)
Appellation          Yountville, Napa Valley
Harvest Date        October 7, 2016
Harvest Sugar        25.3 Brix
Harvest Acid        0.41 gm/100ml 
Total Acid        0.68 gm/100ml
pH            3.80
Alcohol            14.3%
Aging            18 months in oak, 100% French, 51% new
Bottle Date        June 2018
Production        354 cases
 

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