About Cakebread 2015 Merlot, Napa Valley
The Napa Valley Merlot fruit comes primarily from Cakebread's Suscol Springs Estate vineyard at the southern end of the Napa Valley. Vines struggle in rocky Hambright outcrop soils planted on steep hillsides with a southern exposure. These blocks produce grapes with distinctive, true-to-varietal flavors, bright acidity and a muscular structure that is ideal for aging.
In 2015, Cakebread Cellars fermented six separate lots of Merlot in a mix of small closed and open-top stainless steel tanks, with pumpovers to fully extract color, flavor and tannin from the skins. After fermentation, the new wines were transferred to carefully selected French oak barrels, 44% new, where they aged for eight months before blending. The blended wine then spent an additional nine months in barrel prior to bottling.
This wine was awarded a Gold Medal in the San Francisco International Wine Competition, they said "Deep, lovely aromas of ripe black cherry and blackcurrant fruit are complemented by light floral notes in the nose of this plush, supple Merlot. Rich, concentrated flavors of ripe blackberry, black plum and blackcurrant fill the lush palate, framed by fine-grained tannins, leading to a long finish showcasing bright black cherry, berry and mineral tones.
and the International Wine Report scored it 91 points saying "The 2015 Cakebread Cellars Merlot instantly begins with a fantastic aromatic range, consisting of of wild blackberry, cassis, plum, green pepper, graphite and tobacco. It possesses a lovely voluptuous texture and full body, with concentrated flavors of ripe blue and black fruits that envelope the palate. Overall, this is an absolutely delicious Merlot with 5% Cabernet Franc, which is already drinking tremendously well."