This 2008 Merlot isn’t shy, with its deep, dark garnet hue and abounding aromas of rich black cherry, cassis and clove. Approachable, integrated tannins frame the generous dark fruit flavors and coat the palate with soft velvet. The long, fruity finish, laced with autumn spices, ends with a lively cranberry zing. “This is a very classy wine from a gorgeous vintage. Take that, Miles!” laughs Winemaker Tom Rinaldi, with a reference to the film Sideways.
Recognized as one of the world's great wine regions, Napa Valley is only 30 miles long and a few miles wide at its broadest point. Within this slender area, a few subappellations have demonstrated that they can produce superior Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. By selecting top vineyards in these subappellations, Provenance Vineyards showcases the unique personalities of Napa Valley's best growing regions.
Winemakers Chris Cooney and Rinaldi chose Merlot from two subappelations of Napa Valley: Los Carneros and Oak Knoll. The Oak Knoll fruit gives the wine rich, ripe flavors and softer texture, while the cooler Los Carneros region–closer to the San Francisco Bay–provides lively acidity and bright, red fruit Merlot character. They selected grapes from six blocks of the Beckstoffer Las Amigas Vineyard and two from an Oak Knoll vineyard. These well-drained, high quality vineyard blocks are trained and pruned to maximize flavor intensity from sun exposure and prolonged hangtime. Variations in soils and mesoclimate contribute to our Merlot’s complex array of fruit and spice expression.