Clos du Val Estate Merlot is made from grapes sourced from the estates Gran Val Vineyard in the Carneros appellation of Napa Valley.
Clos du Val was founded in 1972 by American businessman John Goelet (a descendant of Bordeaux’s famed wine merchant, Barton & Guestier) and French-born winemaker Bernard Portet. Portet’s father had been manager at Chateau Lafite, where he and his brother Dominique were raised. There were one of the first wineries to set up in the now super-famous Stags Leap district. Today the winery is and run by Owner and General Manager Olav Goelet (one of the six grandchildren of founder John Goelet), Director of Operations Jon-Mark Chappellet and Winemaker Ted Henry. Since 2014 there has been a change in philosophy at Clos du Val with focusing almost exclusively on making estate-grown wines, with an emphasis on the exceptional Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignons that first catapulted Clos Du Val to fame. Clos Du Val farms 350 acres of estate vineyards in the Stags Leap District, Carneros and Yountville appellations.
The grapes for the Clos du Val Estate Merlot are sourced from the 180-acre Grand Val Vineyard in the Carneros appellation of Napa Valley. The vineyard was originally bought to grow Burgundian varietals. Situated at the southernmost parts of the Sonoma and Napa valleys, the climate of Carneros is shaped by cooling maritime breezes and fog off San Pablo Bay, resulting in conditions that have established the region’s reputation for lush and complex Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. However, as well as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, there are smaller amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc planted.
The vines for the Clos du Val Estate Merlot are between 20 and 29 years old and grow in gravelly, clay loams. Fermentation took place in traditional stainless steel tanks with 2 pumpovers daily. 18 months in French oak barrels, 25% new barrels. The wine also included 2% Petit Verdot.
Clos Du Val has also ceased using any herbicides or pesticides in its vineyards, and the estate is halfway through the three year process of full organic certification.