Hanaiali'i Napa Valley Merlot (5)

Hanaiali’i Napa Valley Merlot 5-Pack
Sold by: JW Thomas Wines
$79.99 $197.00 59% off List Price
2015 Hanaiali’i Merlot, Napa Valley

The features tab mentions this has some Cab Franc in it, but the specs tab says it’s 100% merlot. The specs tab also states this was bottled on 12/16/17. Does WD have a time machine he’s been hiding from us? :stuck_out_tongue:

Hmmm. It certainly seems that some details are a bit confusing. I’ve asked for some clarification from those in the know.

Aloha! It’s Jim the designer of the bottle and inventor of the time machine. I’m still up in Hawaii and the Napa crew is sound asleep totally stoked they are going to be waking up to a rockin typo. :wink:

To keep the Aloha flowing in the meantime while you wait for your answer… let’s fire up the time machine with a video of Amy from Hawaii the ambassador of Hawaiian Music who worked with the awesome veteran wine maker Brett Adams to make this masterpiece :slight_smile:


2015 Hanaiali’i Merlot

Dark red, with some purple showing on the edges. Dark fruit and vanilla, on the nose. Flavors of black cherry, plum, vanilla and a hint of cocoa… A fair amount of heat dominates and young tannins turn slightly astringent on the back end. Coming in at 15.1% ABV, that certainly explains the heat and the plum flavors. At $15 per bottle this gets a solid B.

We opened and poured right away with dinner. It improved with time in the glass, after about 2-3 hours some of the alcohol blew off and it started to show some complexity, but never completely shed its awkward parts.

I admit I enjoy reading a good back label and this wine delivers that in spades. Self described as a “Cab-Lovers” Merlot. As a Cab Lover, every time I’ve heard that, I think to myself, someone tried to make a Cab out of a Merlot… And thats exactly my impression of this one.

Bottled on 12/16/16.

There is about one barrel of Cab Franc so less than 1%.

If WineDavid had a time machine then the Falcons could replay the fourth quarter!

Well said! Or quoted. I know you’ll love this wine!

Good catch!!! Each year we use a little bit of CabFranc in the wine but always less than 1%. This year I think we landed at like .02% because the Merlot itself was just SOOO beautiful!

Yes, sorry for the confusion. Each year we add a little cab franc from our vineyards but never more than 1%. This year it was much less than 1%, I think somewhere around 1/3 of a % because the Merlot was pretty much perfect on its own. We just happen to love the slight complexity that dusty and big cab franc adds, even in small amounts.

Ian Devereux here, the vintner behind the project. Each year we add just splash of Cab Franc to the wine but this year the Merlot was so close to perfect that we decided to add less than even 1/2 %… Probably undetectable but if you’re a lover of Cab Franc even the suggestion may help you find it this BIG cab-drinkers Merlot!

Interesting… Ian White here, vintner and partner behind the project, wine director for SF Magazine. Our neighbors often question why we grow Merlot in St. Helena while all of them grow Cabernet. And lots of people ask what a Cab drinkers merlot is… To the first we reply that we believe the growing conditions are perfect for Merlot and we aren’t going to grow cab in a perfect Merlot area just because we can make more money.

To the second, the answer is even more obvious. We don’t make the merlot to taste like a cabernet, it has nothing to do with the winemaking… We just use that to describe the Merlot because there are so many… how do I say this nicely… LIGHT Merlots out there that we feel it’s necessary to let people know that this powerful Napa Valley Merlot drinks the way that we believe a true, uncompromising, unwatered down, Merlot should taste when you don’t blend it down or plant it in places you chose because you reserved your best vineyards for cabernet.

Hope this helps sir and we appreciate your “solid B” but will go with our 90+ scores, 6 gold meals, 4 best of class, and 2 back to back best in show awards.

Drink on my friends!

Thanks for the response. I’ve heard that phrase other places too and largely to the same effect. I agree, its a big napa valley merlot. It’s a style of Merlot that I am sure has its fans as your awards surely indicate.

Was the 90 from WS for the 2015 Vintage? I looked on your site after we tasted it and saw accolades for the 2014. But didnt find the review on WS.

Hello sir,
The 90 was for a past vintage, we just bottled this one in December so haven’t received a score yet but we have high hopes, especially since WS tends to like their Napa wines really big.

Yea, and it can be a confusing phrase so I appreciate you bringing it up! We use it so that people who like really big, bold wines, like Napa Cabs know that this is in their wheelhouse. And to be sure that someone looking for a more subtle Merlot, or are looking to pair a wine with lighter dishes, isn’t taken by surprise.

Thank you for all of your time and thoughtful responses. Nice to have people that really care!!!

Have a great day and glad you enjoyed the Merlot my friend.

With the way they already played, it might have had to be a Groundhog Day experience.

I didn’t think the patriots actually played that well. But I do believe the falcons choked that hard!

Go birds!

Biggest choke ever!

I’m from Atlanta and had season tickets for a long time.

But that was just a complete choke!

I find that in general merlots from California tend to be on the heavier side, for me and I think many others the reason merlot doesnt sell as well is most prefer the Cabernet flavor profile to merlot. That said I think you can go both ways with merlot. I like a softer merlot as a counter point to Cabernet.

Why is Pennsylvania still not a shippable option? Our governor signed a law that said that wine can now be shipped to homes.