2011 Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon Saint Helena
81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 1% Malbec
Classic fresh fruit aromas of cherry, plum, and boysenberry give way to more unusual floral and tropical notes, even a hint of passionfruit. The palate is juicy and round, with balanced and bright acidity.
Merryvale’s St. Helena Estate Vineyard lies on an eastern ridge overlooking the Napa Valley at almost one thousand feet elevation. Planted in 1997 under the direction of consultant Michel Rolland, viticulturist David Abreu and our winemaking team, this vineyard consistently delivers grapes that stand out for their plush fruit character, complexity and silky tannins.
2011 was the most challenging year we have experienced to date at our St. Helena estate vineyard, with rain in late spring resulting in a poor berry set leading to less than half the usual crop level (already low in a normal year), followed by difficult weather during harvest. A severe selection in the vineyard and again in the cellar as the blend was created led to much lower quantities than usual, but what we ended up with is a charming and captivating expression of the vineyard unlike anything we have seen before.
The 2011 Estate Cabernet is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The handpicked grapes spent 21 days on skins before undergoing both native and inoculated primary fermentation, and native malolactic fermentation. We aged the wine for 20 months in 71% new and 29% second fill French oak barrels.