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Snowden Vineyards

2017 Merlot "Lost Vineyard"

We named our two acre Merlot Block the “Lost Vineyard,” after the abandoned vineyards we found hidden across the ranch when we arrived in 1955.  Clone 181 had just been brought in from Bordeaux when we planted the block in 1994, and at this site it produces graceful dry wines with fine tannins, a hint of minerality, delicate fruit, and aromas of violets and sage.  After the richer wines produced from the warmer 2015 and 2016 vintages, the 2017 has given us a wine in a more classic style, evocative of our Merlots from the 2011, 2012, and 2013 vintages.  In 2017, most of the Merlot was included in the blend that is our Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon -- we were able to bottle just a single barrel as a Merlot varietal.  The wine is available only by direct purchase.

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SKU: 2017 Merlot
Wine Specs
Napa Valley
Vineyard Designation
Lost Vineyard
Harvest Date
September 6, 2017
18 months in French oak barrels, 50% new and 50% used
Natural, wild yeast fermentation
Bottling Date
April 26, 2019
Residual Sugar
Fermented dry, no sugar added
Alcohol %
Wine Profile
Winemaker Notes
Because we make our wines in a more traditional, Bordelaise style, we pick a little earlier than many Napa Valley producers. In 2017, this meant we had completed harvest before the fires, so none of our wines had any smoke. The vintage gave us wines featuring delicacy and nuance, this Merlot evocing our first Merlot bottlings in 2011, 2012, and 2013, when the cooler growing years favored subtlety and balance over the muscle and dominant richness of the ensuing warmer vintages. We love this wine and hope you will, if you can get it -- we were only able to bottle 288 fifths.