Grapes for the 2018 Napa Cellars Merlot are sourced from vineyards mainly from the mid-southern parts of Napa Valley, including Oak Knoll, along with a small portion from St. Helena and Carneros. These regions are ideal for cultivating Merlot grapes with moderate to cool climates that support a extended growing season, resulting in elegant, intricate, complex and balanced wine.
The 2018 growing season offered superlative growing conditions with abundant rain at the beginning of the year. Plenty of sunshine and moderate temperatures throughout the spring and summer led up to a harvest with great crop quality.
Once harvested, the grapes underwent a 10 to 16 day maceration period and were fermented using the délestage method. This process allows the winemaker to extract copious amounts of color and flavor from the skins, while avoiding excessive extraction of bitter and astringent flavors. After the fermentation process completed, the wine was aged for 15 months in 100% French oak barrels, 36% of which were new