Oberon Merlot

Napa Valley, California

Tasting Notes

Our 2016 Merlot has dense black fruit aromas, followed by blueberry and chocolate flavors and a velvety mouthfeel.

Another year of drought conditions and a continued warm, dry winter season, resulted in an early bud break. Drought coupled with a cool Spring and long flowering period lead to uneven fruit set, smaller grape clusters and another year of lighter than usual crop. Temperatures throughout the growing season were a bit of a rollercoaster of hot and cold, forcing the fruit to ripen in waves. Despite the weather and light crop, we were able to harvest a crop offering beautiful rich character. We completed harvest before the October rains, which made the Napa Valley wetter than we’ve seen in a decade.

To naturally soften tannins and enhance varietal complexity, Tony allowed the grapes to undergo extended maceration.  He then pressed the wine and transferred it to French oak barrels (45% new oak) to undergo a long malolactic fermentation for roundness and depth.  Using Syrah and Zinfandel as blenders, adds a dark velvety feel to the lush berry flavor profile of the Merlot.  Dense black fruit aromas are followed by blueberry and chocolate flavors, and supple tannins on the palate.

Blend: 87.3% Merlot, 9.7% Syrah, 3.0% Zinfandel Alcohol 13.9% TA 6.3 g/L pH 3.82

To create Oberon Merlot, Tony sourced grapes from Napa Valley’s renowned Oakville district.  The deeper alluvial soils along with the perfect balance of cool mornings and warm afternoons make this are the perfect location for growing Bordeaux varietals. Tony sources Syrah from Dry Creek Valley and Zinfandel from Middletown specifically for this blend as they marry beautifully with this Merlot and bring out the rich character of this delicious expressive Oakville fruit.

Despite receiving close to 75% of normal rainfall, the warmer and dryer than usual winter season, resulted in an early bud break that coupled with a cool Spring and long flowering period resulted in an uneven fruit set. Temperatures through the first half of the growing season were even and warm, giving way to repeated heat surges in the final ripening weeks that pushed the harvest ahead by 2 weeks. This weather pattern resulted in smaller than usual clusters and a lighter than usual crop of beautiful rich character.

To naturally soften tannins and enhance varietal complexity, Tony allowed the grapes to undergo extended maceration. He then pressed the wine and transferred it to French oak barrels (45% new oak) to undergo a long malolactic fermentation for roundness and depth. Using Syrah and Zinfandel as blenders, adds a dark velvety feel to the lush berry flavor profile of the Merlot. Dense black fruit aromas are followed by blueberry and chocolate flavors, and supple tannins on the palate.

87.3% Merlot 9.7% Syrah 3.0% Zinfandel Alcohol 13.9% TA 6.2 g/L pH 3.65

To create Oberon Merlot, Tony sourced grapes from Napa Valley’s renowned Oakville district. The deeper alluvial soils along with the perfect balance of cool mornings and warm afternoons make this are the perfect location for growing Bordeaux varietals. He added some Syrah from Dry Creek Valley and Zinfandel from Middletown to enhance and soften the rich character of this delicious expressive Oakville fruit .

Napa Valley native and winemaker, Tony Coltrin, brings more than 40 years of winemaking experience to Oberon, with expertise in sourcing quality fruit from the best vineyards in the valley and understanding the region’s uniqueness for growing classic Bordeaux varieties. His long-standing relationships with local growers ensure a consistency in the quality of the grapes grown in premier Napa Valley sub-appellations for Oberon.

Tasting Notes

Dense black fruit aromas are followed by blueberry and chocolate flavors, and supple tannins that linger on the palate. Enjoy this lovely Napa Valley Merlot with steak, pan seared salmon and pork chops, as well as sautéed vegetables.

Enjoy this lovely Napa Valley Merlot with steak, pan seared salmon and pork chops, as well as sautéed vegetables.

Despite the lack of rain during the spring, Napa Valley had an excellent growing season and a harvest that provided an abundance of quality grapes. From spring bud break, through flowering, fruit set, and ripening, conditions were ideal. A consistent stretch of warm summer weather with a few large heat spikes, and plenty of cool and foggy nights, helped to ripen grapes our Oberon grapes to perfection.

To naturally soften tannins and enhance varietal complexity, Tony allowed the grapes to undergo extended maceration. He then pressed the wine and transferred it to French oak barrels (45% new oak) to undergo a long malolactic fermentation for roundness and depth. Using Syrah as a blender, adds a dark velvety feel to lush berry flavor profile of the Merlot. Dense black fruit aromas are followed by blueberry and chocolate flavors, and supple tannins on the palate.

Blend: 89.8% Merlot, 9.8% Syrah, 0.4% Other varieties Alcohol 13.9% TA 6.0 g/L pH 3.58

To create Oberon Merlot, Tony sourced grapes from Napa Valley's renowned Oakville district. The deeper alluvial soils along with the perfect balance of cool mornings and warm afternoons make this are the perfect location for for growing Bordeaux varietals.

Napa Valley native and winemaker, Tony Coltrin, brings more than 40 years of winemaking experience to Oberon, with expertise in sourcing quality fruit from the best vineyards in the valley and understanding the region’s uniqueness for growing classic Bordeaux varieties. His long-standing relationships with local growers ensure a consistency in the quality of the grapes grown in premier Napa Valley sub-appellations for Oberon.

2013 is being called a “early, even and excellent” vintage for Napa Valley. Extremely low rainfall, long stretches of warm summer days, and foggy and cool evenings helped to assist in perfectly ripening our Oberon grapes. Due to the wonderful growing conditions of 2013, our vineyards produced nearly 30% higher volume of perfectly ripened grapes than the previous three years, allowing us to pick only the best fruit to go into our Merlot.

To naturally soften tannins and enhance varietal complexity, Tony gave the wine an extended maceration. He then pressed the wine and transferred it to French oak barrels (45% new oak) to undergo a long malolactic fermentation for roundness and depth. Using Syrah as a blender adds a dark velvety feel to the lush berry flavor profile of the Merlot. Dense black fruit aromas are followed by blueberry and chocolate flavors, and supple tannins on the palate.

Blend: 85.8% Merlot, 13.3% Syrah, 0.9% Other varieties Alcohol 14.1% TA 5.8 g/L pH 3.62

Tony accomplished a vibrant layering of flavors in the Oberon Merlot by blending fruit from emerging Napa Valley regions that allowed him to take advantage of different soil types and microclimates from around the valley. The Merlot was primarily sourced from Wooden Valley, a small valley nestled against the VacaMountain range. Even though it sits on the eastern side of the Napa Valley, the orientation of the mountain range allows for influence from the San Francisco Bay Delta and the vineyards sit right at the marine layer line. The fog banks from the delta creep up through the rolling hills of the valley, and this allows for a longer growing season, giving time for perfect balance to develop in the Merlot grapes.

  • 87

    points

    Oberon Merlot
    , Wine Enthusiast, December 2018

    ""

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  • 88

    points

    Oberon Merlot
    Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator, August 2018

    "Loamy tasting, with smoky accents to the red currant, roasted plum and dried berry flavors. Mocha and spice details show on the finish. Drink now through 2021. 5,400 cases made."

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  • 90

    points

    Oberon Merlot
    Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator, November 2017

    "A robust style, with inky notes to the dark currant, dried sage and fig flavors, followed by a sanguine finish that’s richly spiced."

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  • 90

    points

    Oberon Merlot
    Augustus Weed, Wine Spectator, August 2017

    "The Oberon shows the richness that Napa Merlot can achieve on its own.” A review from Kim Marcus is also included stating, “A robust style, with inky notes to the dark currant, dried sage and fig flavors that glide across the palate. The sanguine finish is richly spiced. Drink now through 2020"

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  • 88

    points

    Oberon Merlot
    Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, February 2017

    "This classically styled wine offers black olive, dusty-leathery tannin and jolts of clove and cedar, bringing it all together in a soft, seamless varietal expression. Along the way, expect to meet a juicy hit of grenadine and black currant, a comfy marriage between savory and fruity."

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  • 86

    points

    Oberon Merlot
    Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, August 2015

    "The two Bordeaux reds from Oberon are competent and above-average quality wines that are reasonably priced, especially coming from Napa Valley. A blend of nearly 86% Merlot and the rest Syrah and other varietals, the 2013 Merlot offers coffee bean, red currant and sweet cherry notes, dusty loamy soil undertones, medium body and soft tannin."

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  • 86

    points

    2013 Oberon Merlot
    Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, March 2015

    "Made with the addition of 13% Syrah, this wine is leathery, with aromas of saddle, cedar, plus a touch of tar and graphite. Tightly wound, it needs time to open in the glass before revealing softer aspects of black plum and blueberry swaddled in chocolate."

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  • 86

    points

    2013 Oberon Merlot
    Wine Advocate, August 2015

    "The two Bordeaux reds from Oberon are competent and above-average quality wines that are reasonably priced, especially coming from Napa Valley. A blend of nearly 86% Merlot and the rest Syrah and other varietals, the 2013 Merlot offers coffee bean, red currant and sweet cherry notes, dusty loamy soil undertones, medium body and soft tannin."

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TRADE & MEDIA ASSETS /////////////////

2015 Oberon Merlot Tasting Note

2016 Oberon Merlot – Label

2016 Oberon Merlot – Shelftalker

2016 Oberon Merlot – Tasting Note

Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot – Beauty

Oberon Merlot – Non-Vintage – Bottle