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The 2011 Harris Vineyard Merlot is well balanced with berry and plum fruit flavors enhanced by earthy notes of sage and dried herb. The texture is quite elegant and the red fruit expands with warmth and gentleness. Toasty oak complements these flavors with intriguing char and vanilla, rounding out the tannins and leading to a balanced finish.
Bale / Clear Lake soil series from Harris Vineyard
Oakville, Napa Valley
1991 and 1995
Merlot Clone 1 and the Bear Flat clone, planted on 5C rootstock
Quadrilateral trellis system
This vineyard is planted on a large alluvial fan that extends from the Mayacamas Mountains, across the Branding Iron Vineyard, into Harris Vineyard, and reaches all the way to the western edge of the Rock Cairn Vineyard. The vineyard’s Bale soil series are developed on alluvial fans and flood plains, while the Clear Lake soil series are found on old alluvial fans derived from sedimentary rock. Both soil series can be found in this vineyard, giving it a gravelly clay loam.
Harris Vineyard is located in western Oakville, just east of the Branding Iron Vineyard. Nickel & Nickel’s six acres are comprised of two blocks that offer a southern exposure and soil of gravelly clay loam. Thinning passes allow each cluster to hang freely, optimizing the trellis system, and taking advantage of the warm climate to reach full maturity.
October 18 -Â 19, 2011
17 months in French oak
In 2011, cloud cover in the winter and early spring delayed the year’s growing season, but above average rainfall filled the reservoirs. Bloom occurred in late May, which is the latest on record. The vineyard set an abundant crop, so adjustments were made to balance the vines. A cool summer without any real heat spikes offered a slow ripening period and the leaves were pulled in the divided canopy to expose the fruit. Without the extra heat, sugar levels remained low and we harvested the entire vineyard in mid-October as the temperatures cooled.