Truchard’s estate vineyard is located in the Carneros region of the Napa Valley. It covers a 400 acre expanse of hills and valleys containing a variety of soils: clay, shale, sandstone, limestone, volcanic ash, and rock. The combination of terrain, geology, and marine-moderated temperature provides ideal conditions for wine-growing. Merlot is harvested from five separate hillside locations in the estate vineyard. Each hillside has its own identity, and contributes different characteristics to the final blend. The vines range from 19 to 41 years old. Cabernet Franc, grown in adjacent areas of the vineyard, is added for softness, structure, and complexity.
At the Truchard estate, the 2015 vintage was one of the earliest harvests on record. A very dry winter forced early bud-break. Cool spring conditions during flowering led to poor fruit set, bringing yields down almost 40% from previous years. Moderate summer temperatures quickly brought the small crop to full maturity. The resulting wines are powerful and concentrated, yet elegant.
All of the fruit was harvested by vineyard block, then gently destemmed and crushed. Fruit macerated for 12 to 28 days, depending on lot. The wine aged 20 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. The final blend is 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. It’s a wine that is completely drinkable upon release, but will reward careful cellaring for the next 10 to 15 years.
Intense and ripe with a nose of plum, wild blueberry, and cassis, the profile carries subtle notes of cedar, earth, and mint. The palate is layered with bright flavours of black cherry, red currant, and vanilla. Fine tannins carry through the finish.