Michael Black was dedicated to growing exceptional Merlot grapes in his rock-strewn hillside vineyard. To that end, he propagated a unique clone that produces small berries and clusters that limits the Merlot grapes from over-plumping while contributing structure in the fruit. The cool climate of Coombsville promotes spicy aromatics and refined tannins.
The fruit was left 100% whole berries for a 3-day cold soak, followed by a 5-day fermentation then a 7-day post-ferment maceration. The wine then spent 21 months in 100% French oak, 45% of which were new. The 2016 growing season and harvest in Napa Valley were near perfect. Temperatures through July and August remained moderate, allowing the fruit to slowly develop rich and complex flavors.
Aromas of blackberry preserve mix with notes of dark chocolate and white pepper. The 2016 Michael Black Merlot offers an elegant mélange of plum, pomegranate, and blackberry flavors that richly fills the palate. The persistent finish promises delightful enjoyment for the next fifteen-plus years.