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1997

Merlot

Michael Black Vineyard
Napa Valley

Enticing aromas of dried herb, black cherry, and sweet vanilla. Ripe, rich mouth-filling flavors of blackberry and truffle. The stylish, sweet fruit flavors are broad across the mid-palate, with a firm tannic backbone. This is an elegant wine that will continue to unfold its charms for several years to come. Alcohol 14.2%.

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91 points Wine Spectator

“Complex and rich, with a pretty array of currant, anise, cedar, bacon and spice. Long, concentrated aftertaste. Drink now through 2006.”
James Laube

89 points Wine Advocate

“Exhibits melted chocolate, smoke, and ripe berry fruit. Medium-bodied and complex for Merlot, with a good spice, a lush texture, and an attractive finish, it should drink well for 5-8 years.”
Robert Parker Jr.

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Harvest Date September 10 & 13

Growing Season The warm, dry soils at the end of February triggered budbreak a month early. A temperate summer with moderate, steady temperatures allowed the fruit to reach optimal maturity with good hang time for the full development of character and flavors.

Winemaking

• Hand harvested grapes
• Fermented in an open-top fermentor , with punchdown cap management
• 5-day cold maceration, 28 days total maceration
• Fermentation with indigenous yeast
• 21-months in French oak barrels, 50% new
• Unblended, unfined, unfiltered; bottled August 1999