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1998

Merlot

Michael Black Vineyard
Napa Valley

Intense aromas of black currant, black cherry, and blueberry, with a slight hint of black pepper. Rich, velvety mouth-filling flavors of black cherry and licorice. Ripe tannins amplify the silky smooth texture. This is an exquisitely balanced wine, remarkable for the purity of its fruit and complex structure. Alcohol 14.5%.

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90 points Wine Spectator

“Silky smooth, rich and polished, with a pretty core of spicy currant, plum, anise and cherry. Turns graceful and supple on the long, complex finish. Drink now through 2007.”
James Laube

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Harvest Date October 10

Growing Season A cool, damp, spring delayed the start of the growing season, and contributed to a small crop yield. An extended, warm Indian Summer allowed the fruit to reach maturity with rich, complex flavors.

Winemaking

• Hand harvested grapes
• Fermented in an open-top stainless steel fermentors
• 5-day cold maceration, 21 days total maceration
• Fermentation with indigenous yeast
• 19-months in French oak barrels, 70% new
• Unblended, unfined, unfiltered; bottled August 2000