Bright red fruits, candied blueberry, Santa Rosa plum and menthol aromas all blend together to intoxicate the nose as the 2016 Harris Vineyard Merlot wafts from the glass. On the palate, a juicy and fruity entry is supported by chewy tannins and a balancing acidity, creating lush layers that coat the tongue and produce a soft, elegant 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.
September 29, 2016
17 months in French oak
The 2016 growing season proceeded as usual for Napa Valley with a nice spring that led to a warm summer. Budbreak was a few days later than last year and this trend continued throughout the season. Slightly cooler weather in May lengthened the bloom window but warm summer days in June and July helped the vines catch up to normal. The crop looked good with clusters that had a nice leaf coverage allowing for speckled light. August brought both cool and hot weather, so we kept a close eye on each block.