2017 Kenefick Ranch Vineyard Merlot Napa Valley

Calistoga, Napa Valley

Our 2017 vintage of Merlot is a powerful testament to the newly established Calistoga AVA.

All of our Bordeaux reds from the 2017 vintage are beautifully concentrated, powerful wines not to be missed by the collector and enthusiast alike. We were fortunate to have all of our Bordeaux red lots in production prior to the fires of 2017. As such, all of our wines are 100% smoke free.

Distinct, gorgeous, and savory are all words that pop into mind with this year’s Merlot. A concentrated, dark, red hue clings to the glass drawing one’s curiosity as to the deliciousness that awaits. The aromatics are driven with highly perfumed, fresh, ripe blueberry, allspice, black currants, lavender, and a hint of barrel vanillin. The palate is expansive and full-bodied with no pocket of the mouth unfilled or escaping this wine’s delicious composition. The flavors expand over the palette presenting a lengthy and gratifying sensation. Anticipated maturity is 2022 to 2030.

In The Vineyard

With the replanting of our Oakville Estate Merlot underway, we turn our attention to Calistoga and the famed Kenefick Ranch. Harvest took place on October 1st with stellar results. The 2017 vintage marked a return to normalcy with winter rains supplying vineyards with a much needed reprieve from years of severely dry conditions. The result was a fruit set near normal levels. The vineyard at Kenefick Ranch is among one of the oldest, continuously farmed vineyards in the area and sits on an alluvial fan of volcanic ash. Hot days and cool nights define this location where conditions are perfect for ripening Bordeaux varieties.

In The Cellar

100% gravity flow was deployed in the production of this wine. The fruit was hand picked and gently processed using our state-of-the-art Pellenc sorting and destemming system, producing what we describe as “fruit caviar.” The berries were moved via a combination of elevator belt and direct fill into a combination of small stainless steel tank and open top fermenters. Time on skins lasted 14 to 23 days. The fruit was then separated to “free run” and “light press” fractions. The Merlot was aged in 60% new, tight grained, French Oak barrels for 18 months. We employ a variety of cooperages for Merlot including Boutes, Sylvain, Taransaud, Gamba and Alain Foquet. 100% native, spontaneous yeast and malolactic fermentations were also key ingredients in the making of this wine. Bottled unfiltered.

Wine Technicals & Releases

  • Location:Calistoga, Napa Valley
  • Varietal Description :100% Merlot
  • Oak Type:60% New, tightly grained French Oak
  • Barrel Aging :18 Months
  • Wine Status:Current Release
  • Next Release:Fall 2020
  • Release Price :$75