Each of our Somerston Estate wines is produced from a single block on our 1,615-acre estate, high in the eastern hills of Napa Valley. This estate bottled wine is sourced from our most expressive Merlot vineyard, Stornoway Block 4. This vineyard has an average elevation of 1,150 feet above sea level and is grown on loam soils.
The grapes for this wine were hand-picked and delivered to the winery. They were sorted by hand, de-stemmed, and fed to small stainless tanks, then pumped into a tank for a ve-day cold soak at 50 degrees. When the fermentation began, we pumped over the tank twice per day. Native yeast fermentation lasted for 16 days, followed by a short heated extended maceration of 3 days. The free run was drained from the tank overnight. The wine was barreled down into 70% new French oak and 30% once used French oak barrels. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally in the barrel. This wine was barrel aged for 24 months and bottled in January of 2018.
The 2014 vintage was the third straight year of near perfect growing conditions. The long growing season had warm temperatures, mild heat spikes, and consistent weather throughout harvest. We harvested all of our Merlot from Stornoway Block IV on October 3rd. The excellent conditions this year allowed the fruit to hang longer on the vine and develop superb flavor concentration.