- Producer: Barnett Vineyards - read about the Estate
- Winemaker: David Tate
- Region (AVA): Napa Valley (Spring Mountain District)
- Blend: 82% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc
- Vintage production: 47 barrels
- Winery location: Spring Mountain District
- First vintage: 1992
- Drinking window: 2016-2026
About The Wine:
This Merlot comes from higher elevations on Spring Mountain. It is picked in the dark hours of the morning to ensure it arrives cool and undamaged. The Merlot spent an average of 16 days on its skins with an average of 13 days of maceration. After which the wine spent 22 months in French cooperage, 60% new. Months before bottling, during our assemblage tasting, we determined that 18% Cabernet Franc, from a similar elevation on Spring Mountain, perfected the blend by adding more backbone and spice.
The 2014 vintage atop Spring Mountain was the third in a string of three great vintages. There was not much of a winter, with far below average rainfall. A moderate spring lead into a record breaking summer for high temperatures. However the diurnal effect from our mountain top allowed for very cool nights aiding the vine in slowing down any rapid ripening of the fruit. With a warm fall the Merlot was picked earlier than in the last 15 years of making Merlot here. This involved cautious monitoring with a great understanding that every year is different.
Barnett Vineyards Estate Merlot 2014
"The 2014 Merlot is the kind of Merlot that can get this excessively criticized and maligned grape back in the minds, hearts and palates of wine consumers. This is a beauty from the Spring Mountain District, a blend of 82% Merlot and 18% Cabernet Franc. A dense bluish/purple color with a big, sweet kiss of blueberries, black raspberries, a touch of cherry and licorice. It is complex, beautifully velvety, lush and exactly what Merlot should be. Impressive and long, this Merlot can be drunk now, or cellared for another ten years."
90 points, Robert Parker (Dec. 2016)