Clos Du Val
2010 Napa Valley Merlot
California: Napa Valley
Cab Lover's Dream
Today’s Clos Du Val 2010 Napa Valley Merlot is a Cab lover’s delight. Elegant and subdued, this is what Merlot should be.
Best decanted, this wine truly rewards a little patience. Blueberry, sweet tobacco leaf, and espresso bean leap from the glass, eagerly inviting you to take that first sip. And, boy, once this wine hits your tongue, you’ll be hooked. A heady blend of dark fruit, sweet terroir, and subtle herbal tea combine to create an absolutely luxurious and refined wine.
This wine has VERY limited availability, so please act fast.
Super dark crimson, with flecks of magenta in the heart of the glass.
Lush on the nose, with black currant, black cherry, and blueberry initially leaping from the glass. These are quickly trailed by fresh spring garden, clove, juniper berry, lilac, and subtle green peppercorn.
Concentrated and robust on the palate, with elegant notes of sweet plum, boysenberry, and blueberry mingling with espresso bean, sweet tobacco leaf, lavender, and a touch of herbal black tea.
This wine will reward you with decanting. Once the wine opens up, you’ll be greeted by a pleasant, slight tartness on the initial finish, with dark fruit slowly fading away and a hint of green peppercorn spice remaining.
Slowly braised pork shoulder served alongside roasted carrots and red potatoes.
What the Winery Says
Characteristic of Clos Du Val’s world-class style, the 2010 Merlot continues the winery’s tradition of producing truly elegant wines of balance and complexity. Full-bodied and deep plum in color, it offers complex yet vibrant aromas of black currant, spice, dark chocolate and a hint of toast. The mouth-feel is warm and rich, with a solid middle marked with flavors of black cherry and blueberry complemented by a silky, lingering finish.
- Kristy Melton
- Napa Valley, California
- Fruit Variety
- 85% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot
- 18 months in French oak, 25% new
About the Winery
Clos Du Val Winery was founded on the honored principles of individuality and independence which guide us to this day. Being Vindependent means we remain proudly defiant of passing trends and influences, steadfast in our commitment to crafting refined wines of elegance and balance, reflective not of winemaker ‘magic’, but rather as a fluent expression of the varietal and terroir from which our wines are born.
Three exquisite Napa Valley Estate Vineyards, our iconic Three Graces. Together, they represent almost a half-century of distinctive winemaking. Clos Du Val wines brilliantly capture the terroir of three world-class Napa Valley appellations, delivering finesse, complexity and balance.
Winemaker Kristy Melton
A native of El Paso, Texas, Kristy earned a degree in biology and animal science from Texas Tech’s Angelo State University. Following University, Kristy earned a prestigious position as an immunology researcher at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C. While at the NIH, Kristy supplemented her income working as a bartender, and soon fell in love with wine. She also began her own bartending company, which provided services for events at the White House, State Department, and Smithsonian.
While viewing a winery laboratory during a trip to Napa Valley, Kristy saw an opportunity to combine her two biggest passions, science and wine. In 2005, trading in her beakers for barrels, Kristy became one of only seven students accepted in the UC Davis viticulture and enology masters program.
After earning her master’s degree, Kristy gained winemaking experience on two continents, at Seresin Estate in New Zealand, and at Iron Horse and Saintsbury in California. After three years as the enologist at Saintsbury, Kristy joined Clos Du Val as assistant winemaker in 2010. In this important role, Kristy was given oversight of Clos Du Val’s smaller-production wines, where she began a stylistic shift towards greater ripeness, more mid-palate depth and greater tannin integration. In recognition for the exceptional quality of these wines, Kristy was promoted to senior winemaker in 2012, becoming only the third winemaker in the storied four-decade history of Clos Du Val.
Since then, Kristy’s stylistic vision for Clos Du Val’s wines has expanded to encompass the entire portfolio. To achieve this vision, and further enhance quality, Kristy has instituted numerous changes, including picking later, working with Vineyard Manager Al Wagner to increase dappled sunlight in the vine canopy, adding cold soaks to the Cabernet program to increase color and aromatics, instituting earlier pumpovers to create greater tannin integration, utilizing new filtration methods to limit oxidation, and revamping the barrel program to focus on only the best coopers—all with the goal of preserving vineyard character, while adding nuance and silky textural elements.
Most important, beginning with the 2014 vintage, Kristy began making almost all of Clos Du Val’s wines exclusively from estate-grown fruit. Combining scientific rigor, a willingness to challenge convention, thoughtful winemaking and blending artistry, Kristy has ushered in a rich new chapter in the story of Clos Du Val. In 2013, Kristy was honored as one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s “Top 40 under-40 Tastemakers.”