The color is immediately captivating in this rich deep purple hued 2017 Merlot. There is good intensity in the nose with well integrated aromas that hint of ripe plums, orange zest, and cherries. On the palate there are subtle notes of vanilla, cocoa, and baked nicely browned pie crust. This wine has more than ample body and structure for a Napa Merlot, but still maintains that rich nice balance as it glides across the palate, ending with a long enjoyable finish.
Similar to 2016, the backbone of this wine is from grapes from Beckstoffer’s Missouri Hopper Vyd., but the Cabernet comes from Calistoga and Atlas peak areas.
2017 was an outstanding vintage, with dry, perfect growing conditions, except for smoke issues from fires toward the end. Fortunately for us the Merlot was picked well before the fires and the Cabernet over a week before the fires.