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Emmolo 2016 Merlot Napa Valley
Emmolo 2016 Merlot Napa Valley

Emmolo 2016 Merlot Napa Valley

The goal for this wine was to create a well-balanced Merlot with superbly rich fruit, soft tannins and dark color. This first release exhibits aromas of mahogany smoke, leather and brown spice, while earthy flavors intertwine with caramelized plum and smooth tannins reminiscent of ground cocoa.







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California – Napa Valley

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Jenny Wagner, winemaker

As I take the reins of Emmolo (m – oh – low) Winery from my mother Cheryl Emmolo, I know how lucky I am to be born and raised in the glorious Rutherford district of the Napa Valley.

My family has a long-standing history in Napa Valley beginning with my great-grandfather, Italian immigrant, Salvatore Emmolo, who planted grapevines and started a grapevine rootstock nursery in Rutherford in the 1920’s. He grew and sold phylloxera resistant vines – the same “resistant” vines that saved the wine industry from the devastating vinifera louse of the late 19th century. His son, and my grandfather, Frank Emmolo, ran Emmolo Nursery and built a strong following amongst Napa Valley grapegrowers - becoming the leading supplier to Napa Valley vintners for five decades.

After becoming established grape growers, my ancestors opened up Palermo Winery in 1934, named after the city from which they immigrated. The winery operated for less than a decade, closing due to the public’s lack of interest in wine. As things worked out, my family sustained the land over the years and tossed their hat into the ring again, with my mother establishing the building as Emmolo Winery. Today, I’m honored to continue on the family legacy of farming vines and making Emmolo wine here in the original winery my great-grandfather built in 1934.

I sourced grapes for this vintage from the Emmolo Oak Knoll vineyard located near the city of Napa in a sub-appellation called Oak Knoll. It’s ten miles nearer the San Francisco Bay than Rutherford and has a cooler microclimate. The site was strategically chosen for its soils and moderate climate, which are appropriate for growing Merlot.

Our Merlot flourishes at this site thanks to the cooler weather - a mild climate allows the berries to hang on the vine longer, letting them fully mature. Crop thinning is essential to balance the vines with a low yield of rich, concentrated fruit that’s dark in color and has chalky tannins and ripe flavors. This wine is very much an expression of the well-drained, low vigor soil that is light in color in the Oak Knoll appellation. During harvest, the fruit was hand-picked in the early morning hours between October 20th and October 24th.


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