The Vice, Merlot, 2017
Mount Veeder, Napa Valley
Our first Merlot batch is dedicated to Keith. A lifelong Napa Cabernet Sauvignon enthusiast and a living James Bond. We meticulously crafted this complex and distinctive Merlot in a traditional Bordeaux style displaying qualities more in common with small-batch Cabernet than with the lush Merlot of the movies...
A wild vintage! The year began with abundant rainfall following a historic five years of drought. Three heat waves during summer led us to harvest earlier than expected on September 15th but luckily saved us from the wildfires and smoke taint that took over the region starting October 8th.
Also known as the mountain by the bay, Mount Veeder is the only hillside appellation in Napa Valley that adjoins Carneros, benefiting from the cooling influence of San Pablo Bay. It is an island of ancient seabed pushed up into a mountain and blessed by volcanic soils that typify the rest of Napa Valley. Its slopes are extremely steep, above the fog, with a shallow topsoil and minimal water retention. Thus, it results in tiny berries with intense flavor concentration, yet soft tannins. The harsh setting of the terrain demands vineyard work to be done only by hand. Although Mount Veeder is blessed with the longest growing season in Napa, it is notorious to have the lowest yields.
Located above 2000 ft of elevation, hillside with an angle of almost 30°. The early morning sun brings warmth to the mountain, but the maritime breezes minimize the heat in the peak of the day. Night time chill is moderated by the proximity to the bay. This has a moderating effect on the tannins in the grapes, leaving them assertive but fine, smooth in texture. conditions produce a bright liveliness to the grape that is felt directly in These cool conditions produce a bright liveliness to the grape that is felt directly in this Merlot.
Batch #007 politely greets the nose with aromas authentic to an age worthy classic Bordeaux. On the palate, red fruits first tingle the tongue; then immediately layers of blackberries, plum, cedar and spice attack the mid-palette. Soft tannins disguise this wine like a spy, yet the finish is long, complex and well structured.
100% Merlot – Un-fined and unfiltered – 17 months in barrel
224 cases made
Release Date: June 3rd, 2019
Alc 13.5% - Brix 25.1 – Maceration 28 days
Drink now – through 2030