Established in 1893, Stags’ Leap Winery is one of the oldest wine estates within the acclaimed Stags Leap District, producing wines expressive of its unique terroir. With an enduring winemaking philosophy that honors traditional techniques while embracing modern capabilities, and by using the finest grapes from out own 80-acre vineyard and from quality-focused growers, Stags’ Leap wines embody a natural balance, exhibiting both intensity and finesse, while bringing forth the inherent qualities of each variety.
With freshness emphasizing its southern Napa origins, the 2015 Merlot combines dark juicy black cherry and macerated strawberry fruit with light floral violets side-by-side subtle hints of caramel, cinnamon, clove and tobacco spice savory ness, imparted from the oak ageing. The generous fruit flavors, polished structure, refreshing acidity, present tannins and plush texture show just how elegant Merlot can be.
The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, and the extended season helped to balance the acidity in each varietal and added additional complexity to the layers of flavors. This resulted in wines with outstanding concentration and flavor.