Of all the wines we make at Rocca Family Vineyards each year, our Merlot is always our most distinctly refined, elegant bottling. With the 2009 vintage, that’s as true as ever. From start to finish, this wine expresses itself with exceptional polish and grace. Our Grigsby Vineyard’s characteristic vibrant acidity keeps the wine bright throughout, underlining the purity of the fruit and helping to make our 2009 Merlot one of the most charmingly elegant wines we’ve made to date.
The aromas here are delicate and pretty, with bright red fruit notes of raspberries and ripe strawberries highlighted by touches of caramel, cinnamon, and spicy oak. A sophisticated mineral component of crushed gravel, which consistently characterizes our Merlot, is more present than we’ve ever seen it. This note of rock dust carries through on the palate, too, and helps emphasize the focus and precision of the wine’s tasty red fruit. Through the finish the wine is persistent and pretty, carried along by tannins that are remarkably soft and smooth even by the standards of Rocca’s past vintages.
Gold Medal, 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Silver Medal, 5th Annual American Fine Wine Competition
In 2009, Mother Nature rewarded us with the kind of growing conditions we dream of. For the third year in a row, rainfall in Napa Valley was only about two-thirds of normal. This proved to be just enough to keep the vines healthy, while significantly reducing vegetative growth and naturally limiting vineyard yields. Grape clusters were fewer and smaller than in an average year, resulting in increased concentration and depth. From start to finish, temperature conditions were unusually cool, with none of the heat spikes that typically characterize summertime in Napa Valley. As a result, the grapes enjoyed an exceptionally long growing season that allowed them to achieve perfect ripeness while retaining remarkable levels of aromatic expression and fruit purity. Taken as a whole, wines from the 2009 vintage are intensely perfumed, with delicious up-front fruit and gorgeously silky tannins. They also show beautiful balance and grace, giving them considerable early appeal and an irresistible charm.
Our goal at Rocca is to make wines that reflect, as fully and faithfully as possible, the unique characteristics of the vineyards from which they come. To this end, all of our wines are made exclusively from our own organically farmed grapes, which we selectively harvest by hand in the cool hours of the night. Once the fruit has been picked, we take an emphatically hands-off, non-interventionist approach to winemaking. The grapes are destemmed as gently as possible, and are allowed to ferment with the vineyard's own indigenous yeasts. The wine is then gently pressed off, and transferred into barrels. This wine was aged for 17 months in tight-grain French oak barriques, approximately 60% new, before bottling in March of 2011.
Source: 100% grown at Rocca’s organically farmed Grigsby Vineyard
Varietal composition: 98% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon