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Enticing aromas of dark plum, green olive and cedar spring from the glass at first swirl. Earthy notes of tobacco leaf, olive, tar and spice blend elegantly with the dark, ripe fruit. Lush, velvety tannins that expand upon the initial sip and develop with richness through the finish. The 2017 Suscol Ranch Merlot pairs beautifully with food and is ready to drink now, but can also be cellared for later enjoyment.
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 3-7, 2017
14 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.