2016 Darioush Merlot Signature
2016 Darioush Merlot Signature Aromatic complexity and typicity is the hallmark of Darioush Signature Merlot. Our meticulous vineyard practices, the unique microclimates and soils from our Southern Napa Valley vineyards atop Mount Veeder and on the Valley floor naturally restrict, concentrate and carefully ripen this noble Bordeaux variety to coax a plush yet focused wine.
With plenty of lively red and black fruits, this 2016 Signature Merlot expresses all the nuance of a picture-perfect vintage. The extended 2016 growing season allowed Merlot to slowly develop its flavor profile of luscious blackberry and plum, lifted by a snap of bright, tart cherry. Round and concentrated on the palate, the wine integrates notes of licorice and acacia wood with roast espresso, mocha and savory pipe tobacco. Soft yet supple tannins support a long finish, which reveals spicy hints of clove, cinnamon and anise. With additional bottle age, this classically styled, mountain-grown Merlot will continue to reward the patient collector.
Meticulous attention to detail in the vineyard and minimal cellar handling. Hand-harvested and sorted twice, before and after de-stemming. Fermentation includes cold soaking for 4 days in traditional fermenters with gentle pump-overs for optimal color extraction and tannin management. Aged 20 months in 70% new Chateau Traditional French oak barrels. Barrel lots were racked 2-3 times per year for clarity.
Merlot is the most popular and widely planted wine grape varietal in France, reaching its true zenith of expression in Bordeaux wine. Around the world, it’s the fifth most planted wine grape. Merlot has also been used to make stunning wines in Tuscany and to a much lesser degree in Switzerland, Australia, Argentina and numerous other countries, as well as in America. Merlot continues to gain in popularity as a grape for wine. In 1990, Merlot was the 7th most popular grape.
By 2010, Merlot jumped to second place as the world’s most widely planted grape. Only Cabernet Sauvignon has more vines planted. According to studies conducted by the University of California in Davis, the Merlot grape is related to Cabernet Franc and Carmenere. Thanks to DNA, it is now thought that Merlot is a cross between Cabernet Franc and the obscure grape Magdeleine Noire des Charentes.