Rombauer Napa Valley Merlot 2014
RELEASE DATE September 2017
APPELLATION Napa Valley
VARIETAL 77% Merlot
COMPOSITION 21% Cabernet Sauvignon 2% Petit Verdot
HARVESTED Sept. 13–23, 2014
AVERAGE BRIX AT HARVEST 27.4
COOPERAGE 17 months in French oak barrels (40% new)
Since producing our first vintage of Merlot in 1983, we’ve been committed to making the best possible expression of the variety. Understanding that site selection and farming are key to exceptional Merlot, we shifted our focus on sourcing with the 2014 vintage to the Napa side of Carneros, which we believe produces consistently high-quality wines from this noble grape.
VINEYARDS Our Merlot is grown in estate-owned and grower-partner vineyards on the Napa side of Carneros, where the clay soils are similar to those of Bordeaux’s Right Bank. The cool climate allows the thin-skinned grapes to gradually develop flavor and tannin while
retaining natural acidity.
The 2014 vintage was another ideal growing season with warm, dry conditions that resulted in excellent fruit quality. Sustainable farming practices throughout the growing season were tailored to each block with the assistance of aerial photos produced using NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) technology. Yields were restricted to enhance fruit quality. All fruit was handpicked and sorted in the vineyards.
The grapes were carefully destemmed and optically sorted to ensure only perfect fruit made it into the wine. A cold soak extracted color and flavor. About 25% of the wine was barrel-fermented to provide a richer, more textured palate. The wine was gently basket-pressed before being racked to French oak barrels for aging.
Aromas of fresh, ripe blueberries, blackberries and boysenberry intertwine with notes of cedar, vanilla and pie crust. This medium-bodied wine is plush with flavors of plums, blueberries and figs upfront, leading to juicy red fruit on the midpalate. Delicious now, its depth and structure provide long cellaring potential.
Our favorite Joy of Cooking® pairings* for this wine include Seared Pork Chops with Mustard Green Chimichurri, Beef Braciole or Pate de Campagne.
*Recipes for pairings with a noted page number can be found in the 75th anniversary edition
of the Joy of Cooking. Recipes not appearing in the book can be found at www.JoyofCooking.com.
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