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2014 Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga
Merryvale’s Calistoga Cabernet is sourced from two vineyards located in the Calistoga AVA: Kenefick and Amoenos. The grapes were handpicked and allowed to cold soak after arrival at the winery, allowing a long and gentle extraction to take place. Each vineyard lot was fermented separately in small tanks. Native fermentation began after a 7-day cold soak and reached a peak temperature of 90°F. The wines were pumped over a few times a day until dryness and then pressed and drained to barrels where malolactic fermentation occurred. We aged the wine for 22 months in 70% new French oak barrels from Ana Selection, Darnajou and Sylvain. The wine was racked three times and bottled without fining or filtration.
Located in two very different areas of Calistoga, Kenefick Vineyard sits on an alluvial fan at the foothill of the Calistoga Palisades. On the other side of the valley, Amoenos is a much cooler hillside vineyard that gets a lot of influence from the cool air coming over the ridge from Sonoma County. We typically pick Kenefick Vineyard early in September and Amoenos is usually the last vineyard we pick in October. Both work hand in hand to create this beautiful Cabernet that showcases the best characteristics from this AVA. Kenefick brings ripe, spicy characters whereas Amoenos is full, dense and has loads of floral and red fruit notes. The lengthy finish displays well proportioned tannins that will gain even more complexity as time passes. With proper cellaring, this wine will drink beautifully for the next 15 to 20 years.