ESTATE MERLOT 2014
2014 marks our 35th anniversary of making Merlot here at Markham Vineyards. We can say without a doubt that it is our favorite wine! Our Estate Merlot bottling is the pinnacle of all that we love. A core of cherry jam fruit wrapped with cola, caramel and brown sugar can be found in both the aromas and on the palate. While this sexy wine has the ripe, juicy texture we adore, the big, tight tannins will require some patience to enjoy in the short term. We love to pair this wine with a quiet evening and a Marvin Gaye soundtrack. However, grilled lamb lollipops with a side of roasted root veggies will also give you something to sink your teeth into.
16 months, French Oak (85% new)
In the heart of Napa Valley, our Yountville Estate has an amazing lineage spanning over 140 years. Located on hillside benchland, the well-drained soils are relatively thin due to their position atop ancient alluvial fans. The Merlot budwood selections were originally taken from the famed Three Palms Vineyard, where Merlot first began in Napa Valley. Our favorite Merlot block sits on a knoll and produces intensely flavored berries of minuscule size. The volcanic ash soils at the ranch are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and exhibit a chalky texture in the resulting wines. Our Cabernet Franc is a bit of our original “suitcase” clone as well as a La Jota Vineyard selection, which was the first California Cabernet Franc ever bottled. This blend comes together in much the same harmony in which it grows in the field.
The 2014 vintage in Napa Valley celebrated a near-perfect growing season despite receiving less than half our normal rainfall. Late spring rains were well-timed, arriving after budbreak which allowed for even flowering, fruit set and ultimately helped power the vines miraculously throughout the season. However the third year of continued drought had yields in our red grapes difficult to estimate accurately. The exciting news is the beauty of this wine reflects the pride we feel heralding our 35th vintage of Merlot here at Markham Vineyards.