Raymond Vineyards, founded in 1974, is one of the Napa Valley’s pioneers and great estates. Arriving to Napa in 1933, the Raymond family became deeply connected to the valley’s winemaking origins. In 1970, they established a 90-acre estate in Rutherford that now comprises 300 acres in Rutherford, St. Helena, and Jameson Canyon. Five generations of the Raymond family created a Napa icon, with an enduring reputation for elegant wines with a beautiful balance of finesse, power, and complexity. Today, inspired by the vision of Proprietor Jean-Charles Boisset, Raymond is a dynamic destination dedicated to inspiring its guests’ passion for fine wine in an environment of exploration, creativity, and elegant whimsicality, where each in a series of diverse experiences progresses visitors into another world of discovery and exceptional wines. Further, Raymond’s Rutherford and St. Helena estate vineyards are certified organic and Biodynamic, and 100% of the winery’s power comes from renewable solar energy.
2018 was a near picture-perfect growing season that began in late February followed by a mild Spring yielding uniform grape clusters. Temperatures remained moderate to cool throughout the season with 2018 being considered one of the coolest vintages of the past decade. The cooler temperatures allowed for a longer hangtime resulting in an even and temperate harvest.
The grapes for this 2018 Napa Valley Reserve Merlot were harvested between September 24 and October 30, 2018, from seven vineyards across Napa Valley. The majority of the grapes were harvested from Oak Knoll, which adds texture to the wine, while the fruit from St. Helena and Calistoga impart a richness and brightness. The grapes went through extended maceration before aging for 19 months in 17% new French oak.
Dense aromas of mocha and spice notes spring from the glass in this 2018 Napa Valley Reserve Merlot. Ripe dark fruit flavors of raspberry, blackberry and black plum are accented by notes of dark chocolate. Fine-grained tannins and a silky mouthfeel lead to a rich and lingering finish with hints of cocoa that linger.