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2020 Eleven Eleven Destin Vineyard Merlot, Oak Knoll District Napa Valley

The story of Eleven Eleven Winery begins with Ellie Anest & Carol Vassilliadis starting as lifelong friends and Southern California transplants that, like many, fell in love with the Napa Valley. They expanded their relationship to include a business partnership focused on real estate investment properties. Their first acquisition was a home surrounded by a 3.5-acre vineyard in the heart of Oak Knoll AVA. “The whisper of this magical vineyard called us to take a chance at producing our own wine.” “Our search for a winemaker led us to one of Napa’s finest - Kirk Venge.” That was the beginning… Eleven Eleven Wines. An advantageous opportunity presented itself when a second vineyard, a 16-acre property also in the Oak Knoll AVA became available. This provided access to several additional grape varieties and allowed Eleven Eleven to expand their portfolio.

This is a 100% estate Merlot from the Oak Knoll District, aged for 22 months in 100% French Oak Barrels (60% new). There is a modest production of 100 cases. Respected winemaker Kirk Venge has been crafting the wines since their inaugural release in 2012. This Merlot exhibits a deep opaque appearance with a brilliant purple rim. Aromas of dried lavender and rose petals capture your attention. This wine has plenty of sophistication and purity of fruit right out of the glass. As you sip this graceful, silk laden Merlot you are immersed with a cascade of Morello cherries and succulent black plums that are packed into the core. Further in you notice a potpourri of baking spices, roasted espresso beans and a layer of melted dark chocolate. The tannins are ripe and the edges are very polished. It now becomes hard to put this seamless wine down, but it continues into a long and most memorable finish. A thought provoking Merlot that will make you rethink your interest in any other producer. Congrats to Kirk Venge for this awesome achievement.

By W Peter Hoyne

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