MARKHAM VINEYARDS MERLOT NAPA 2017
A true Napa Valley blend of vineyards! Their Estate vineyards provide the backbone for the blend, totaling almost 60% of this bottling. Merlot from the Oak Knoll District gives sour cherry character, while the Yountville components provide the classic Bing cherry aromas and flavors for which their Merlot is known. The jammy notes come from blending in warmer up-valley fruit. Much care is taken to maximize the filtered light and allow the Merlot to hang freely within the canopy during harvest. This allows the fruit to mature and color evenly, leaving any vegetal hints behind. The wines are sent to barrels as individual lots to mature, allowing for greater understanding of the direct impact of their viticultural and fermentation practices on each vintage. It also allows them to invite our growers to come and taste the fruits of their labor when they come to visit.
The 2017 vintage rewarded Napa Valley with normal rainfall after four consecutive vintages of drought. The grapevines sped right through their annual milestones with an early bud break. Bloom started early, but May rains extended bloom in most varieties. Scorching heat at the end of June pushed veraison ahead of the 4th of July weekend. Harvest started early for many, however normal yields had us waiting to crush until the end of August. While not a completely leisurely harvest, they thanked Mother Nature for perfectly ripened fruit, happy fermentations, and allowing them to be finished picking before ten inches of rain arrived in October.