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2019 Ehlers St. Helena, Napa Valley Merlot

The Ehlers Estate vineyard is located on an historic winegrowing site in the northern part of Napa Valley’s acclaimed St. Helena appellation. Grapes have been cultivated on this coveted site since the mid-1800s. The vineyard was replanted using a diversity of clone and rootstock selections under the guidance of renowned enologist Jacques Boissenot in 1995. Today, the Ehlers Estate vineyard, which is the source of exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc, is farmed with strict adherence to organic farming standards.

I describe the 2019 Ehlers Estate St Helena, Napa Valley Merlot as a pretty and lushly crafted wine. It is a blend of 77% Merlot and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in French Oak for 22 months. In the glass the color is a deep garnet with purple edges. You can smell and taste the Cabernet Sauvignon influence in this wine. There are aromas of raspberry, layered with earthiness and baking spices. There is a gentle whiff of violets in the background. On the palate the fruit has a tart and tangy mouth-feel, the tannins are finely grained which gives the wine a lovely texture. Remarkably balanced, the wine keeps you captivated through the finish where your senses continue to pick up the tartness of the fruit and melted dark chocolate. It seems to go on for minutes. The wine is beautifully made to enjoy now, but with age it will add more complexity and soften. Winemaking is under the guidance of Adam Castro who had spent 11 years working with Philippe Melka before joining Ehlers.

By Perry Miroballi

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