An appealing texture combines with depth and focus, offering aromas of floral black cherry and mocha that lead to rich and layered flavors of red currant, spiced herb and black licorice. The tannins are big but ripe, firming up on the finish.
Robert Foley Vineyards is on Howell Mountain, in Napa Valley. It was started in 1998 when Robert Foley, a Napa Valley winemaker who previously worked at Pride and other vineyards, decided to start making his own wine. Foley’s first wine was his signature Claret, but he has since expanded into Petite Sirah, Merlot, Charbono and most recently The Griffin, a blend. He has also produced white wines. Robert M. Parker Jr. has called Foley “one of California’s most talented winemakers…(His) are consistently top-notch efforts with impressive personalities.”
Napa Valley AVA is the most famous winemaking region in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world. With nearly 43,000 acres of vineyards and more than 300 wineries, it is the heart of fine wine production in the United States. Winemaking started in Napa in 1838 when George C. Yount planted grapes and began producing wine commercially. Other winemaking pioneers followed in the late 19th century, including the founders of Charles Krug, Schramsberg, Inglenook and Beaulieu Vineyards. An infestation of phylloxera, an insect that attacks vine roots, and the onset of Prohibition nearly wiped out the nascent Napa wine industry in the early 20th century. But by the late 1950s and early 1960s Robert Mondavi and other visionaries were producing quality wines easily distinguishable from the mass-produced jug wines made in California’s Central Valley. Napa Valley’s AVA was established in 1983, and today there are 16 sub-appellations within the Napa Valley AVA. Many grapes grow well in Napa’s Mediterranean climate, but the region is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay is also very successfully cultivated, and about 30% of the AVA’s acreage is planted to white grapes, with the majority of those grapes being Chardonnay,
The Merlot grape is such a deep blue that it is named for the blackbird. It’s an early ripening grape and one of the primary varietals used In Bordeaux. Merlot is also grown in the "International style," which is harvested later to bring out more tannins and body.