The 2012 Harris Vineyard Merlot captures the true expression of this vineyard, both in flavor and texture. This wine offers enchanting aromas of wild berry, spice and earth. On the palate, juicy berry and plum fruit flavors are layered with dried herb and sage, integrating nicely with warm, toasted oak. The texture is rich and polished, primarily upon entry, and builds into the midpalate. Firm, yet supple, tannins add length as the dark, lush flavors offered by this vintage linger on the finish.
Bale 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 1 – 2, 2012
17 months in French oak
An ideal 2012 growing season with warm days and cool, foggy nights offered the perfect conditions for fruit and tannin maturity. There were no heat spikes this year, so flavor development was at its peak. We pulled leaves around the fruit to give adequate exposure. Bloom and veraison occurred two weeks ahead of last year and the vines were well balanced. Favorable weather in September led to an early October harvest that offered ripe, juicy fruit of optimal quality.