Stout Vineyard is located in the Howell Mountain appellation, one of the Napa Valley’s most sought-after, ultra-premium winegrowing regions. As a result of its topography, soils and climate, Howell Mountain has distinctly different grape-growing conditions than the valley floor.
Varietal Content: 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon; Cooperage: 100% French Oak, Chateau-Style Barrels (60 gallons); Age of Barrels: 100% New
As with all of our Merlots, this is a wine of depth and structure—a fact that is only enhanced by the Howell Mountain location of Stout Vineyard. Abundant layers of black cherry, raspberry and cranberry are underscored by notes of leather and oak-inspired spice that add nuance and complexity. Though powerful, the tannins are showing a youthful austerity that bodes well for long aging.
From our first Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc blocks to our final red-varietal Estate picks, our 2009 harvest spanned more than two months. Though the 2009 growing season presented certain challenges—from early shatter to late-season rain—a thoughtful response in the vineyards yielded smaller-than-normal crops of high-quality fruit. This response included aggressive leafing, an early thinning protocol and a heavy field sort to select only the most desirable grapes.