Wine Spectator 89
This stretches out nicely, with notes of sandalwood and Asian spice to the crushed red fruit flavors. Chocolate and cream details show on the finish. Drink now through 2021. 8,425 cases made.
–KM February 28, 2019
NOTES: Dark cranberries and dried cherries burst out of this wine aromatically, coupled with cocoa dust, fresh strawberry jam, cherry cola, pomegranate, and toasted vanilla. On the palate, this Merlot has fine, firm tannins alongside black cherries, red currants, goji berries, and toasted walnuts. It is supple in texture and shows attractive depth on the finish. Enjoy right now and through 2023 with proper cellaring.
Vintage: 2015 was a very typical growing season in Napa Valley. Although the winter was drier than normal, early spring rains brought much needed water to the vineyards as bud break began. Outstanding spring weather was followed by an ideal summer of hot days and cool nights. The Autumn season was very warm and ripened the fruit at a steady pace. All of the Merlot and Cabernet grapes in this blend were harvested over a four-week period from September 12th to October 10th.
WINE The Merlot grapes were grown at the winery’s Estate vineyard in Rutherford and select vineyards from St. Helena and Oak Knoll AVAs in the Napa Valley. The Cabernet Sauvignon came predominantly from Whitehall’s Millennium MM vineyard in Rutherford. Whitehall Lane has always utilized the art of blending to make a Merlot with layers of flavors, complexity, and balance. These elements assist with the goal of varietal typicity in creating the perfect Merlot. The fruit was fermented at an average of 85°F with gentle pump-overs for excellent flavor and color extraction. The wine was aged in a combination of French (25% new) and American (10% new) oak barrels for 18 months. The 2015 Merlot was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
APPELLATION: Napa Valley
COMPOSITION: 92% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon
ACCOLADES: Gold Medal - 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
WINEMAKER: Jason Moulton
Whitehall Lane WineryView all from Whitehall Lane Winery
We are a small, family owned winery in Napa Valley's historic Rutherford appellation. We own approximately 140 acres of prime Valley-floor vineyards including the Leonardini Vineyard in St. Helena and are committed to making the finest Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Reserve wine.
The winery continues to receive accolades and awards for producing some of the greatest wines in the world. In Wine Spectator Magazine's year-end ranking of wines, Whitehall Lane has been honored an unprecedented three times in five years for producing wines rated among the top five in the world. The winery has also been voted Winery of the Year from the Quarterly Review of Wines and Wine and Spirits Magazine.
Whitehall Lane was founded in 1979 but the history of the soil cultivation dates back two centuries. In the mid 1800's, Napa Valley settlers were drawn to the deep, loamy soils and ideal climate, planting high quality grape vines at the Whitehall Lane Winery site. A barn constructed in the early 1900's for equipment storage is still used today. In 1979, two brothers started the winery and directed their winemaking efforts successfully to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. They named the winery after the road that runs along the south border of the property, Whitehall Lane.
In 1993, the Leonardini Family of San Francisco took control of the Whitehall Lane estate. They updated the winemaking, instituted a new barrel-aging program and continued sourcing the finest vineyards. We started with one vineyard and now own seven prime vineyards that are the cornerstone on which the wines are made and include the Whitehall Lane Estate Vineyard, Millenium MM Vineyard and Bommarito Vineyard in the Rutherford Appellation, the Leonardini Vineyard and Fawn Park Vineyard in St. Helena, Oak Glen Vineyard in the Oak Knoll District and Rassi VIneyard in Sonoma. The Estate Vineyard is 25 acres of "Rutherford Dust" offering beautiful Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The Millenium MM Vineyard offers outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon fruit while the Bommarito Vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The Leonardini Vineyard is 14 acres of gravely soil yielding powerful Cabernet Sauvignon fruit and elegant yet intense Merlot grapes that go into the "Leonardini Vineyard" vineyard-designated wine. The Fawn Park Vineyard is on a gentle slope of Eastern hillside and produces intense Cabernet Sauvignon. The 25-acre Oak Glen Vineyard produces flavorful Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
In our short history, Whitehall Lane has developed into a world-class winery. The efforts of the Leonardini Family are evident in the recent run of accolades from wine publications but are even more apparent in the beautifully made, elegant wines we continue to make.