A row of barrels in the Relic cave.

2019 Hyde Vineyard Merlot

In 2019, we had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with the legendary Larry Hyde and his son, Chris, at Hyde Vineyards on not only Chardonnay, but Merlot. Insiders know that Merlot needs a cooler, steady growing season, and most importantly: clay soils to develop color and flavor. This perfect combination exists at Hyde, and Merlot sings here. The color is an opaque dark ruby with a black core. The heady aromas fill the glass with scents of damson plum, blackberry, red cherry compote, mission fig, spice cake and bourbon vanilla. On the palate, the deep, dark flavors are energized by the framing acidity to make a wine that is at once rich and unctuous, yet buoyant as well. Smooth tannins frame the endless, lush finish. 

  • 100% Merlot
  • 100% Hyde Vineyard, Los Carneros, Napa Valley
  • Clone 181
  • Clay soils that Merlot loves
  • Aged for 21 months in 50% new French oak
  • Unfiltered
  • 6 barrels produced 149 cases
The 2019 Merlot Hyde Vineyard is gently herbal, with notes of wild thyme and sage, plus plenty of ripe cherries, some raspberries and darker notions of mocha and plum. Medium to full-bodied and lushly textured on the mid-palate, it finishes long and silky.
Joe Czerwinski
The Wine Advocate
May 31, 2022