Grapes for the 2016 Napa Cellars Merlot are sourced from vineyards mainly from the Oak Knoll region, along with a small portion from Atlas Peak, Carneros and Rutherford—regions ideal for cultivating Merlot grapes. The moderate to cool climate in Napa Valley supports an extended growing season, resulting in elegant, ntricate, complex and balanced wine.
The 2016 growing season in Napa Valley started out with unseasonably warm temperatures, though welcomed rains occured in the late winter and early spring after years of drought. Bud break was early though slowed with April showers leading to a harvest that was still early, though with a heavier crop than the 2015 vintage.
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 19 months in 100% French oak barrels.