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The 2011 Suscol Merlot is elegant and balanced with aromas of cedar, tar, and berry. Flavors of dark plum, herb, and cedar are followed by earthy notes that add a unique flavor to this vintage, while the toasty, French oak offers suppleness to the palate. Fine tannins build on the middle palate and progress into a long, smooth finish.
Haire soil series from Suscol Ranch
Merlot Clone 314 and the Bear Flat clone, planted on 3309C rootstock
Vertical shoot positioning (VSP)
The Haire soil series are moderately well drained and found on old terraces and alluvial fans. Deposits of weathered sedimentary rock are typical and help create a deep, loamy soil in this vineyard.
The nine-acre Suscol Ranch vineyard is located in Jamieson Canyon, south of the city of Napa. The area is very cool, with dense fog early in the season and windy conditions all year long. The vines are planted on a gentle, north-facing knoll of deep, loamy soil and are cordon trained to give the grapes maximum sun exposure. The cool conditions allow the fruit to mature slowly, gracefully developing flavors and mature tannins.
October 18, 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 this year occurred in June, which is the latest on record. This vineyard set a small crop, so minimal adjustments were required during the season. A cool summer without any real heat spikes offered a slow ripening period, and the fruit looked beautiful on the vines. Without the extra heat, sugar levels remained low and we harvested the entire vineyard in mid-October as the temperatures got cooler.