Napa Merlot – the Cinderella grape


See also Napa Valley Cabernets – depressing? and Napa Valley sub-appellations – heartening?

With its diversity of soils and mesoclimates, Napa Valley is well suited to growing a range of varieties including each of the five primary grapes of Bordeaux. In the Napa Valley region, Cabernet Sauvignon has been king now for decades. Still, Merlot has had a home alongside its more celebrated blending partner as long as Cabernet has been grown in Napa Valley. It’s an ideal foil. At the same time, in soils where Cabernet is less likely to prosper – clay-rich soils, for example – the wise...