The history of Stagecoach Vineyard is equal to the beautiful wines it produces today. The property earned its name as a stagecoach route between Saint Helena and Monticello which was frequently robbed by ‘gentlemen bandit’ Charles Earl Bowles, better known as Black Bart. German settlers first planted the site in the late 1800s and their grapes fetched some of the highest prices in all of Napa. Unfortunately the region struggled with an increased deer population and was completely abandoned once Prohibition took hold.
Fast forward to 1991 with Jan Krupp’s vision to once again breathe life into the precious terroir. It would take the removal of one billion pounds of volcanic rock, a local ‘water witch’ to find water sources buried 400 feet below the vineyard, and overcoming countless other obstacles to resuscitate the vineyard. Today its cool climate, volcanic soils, and maximum sun exposure are at their best to produce world class wines like the one we offer today – the 2012 Derenoncourt California Merlot.
The sixth vintage of the Stagecoach Vineyard Merlot is Stephane’s most powerful and intense expression of this vineyard to date. While the Merlot’s innate beauty is captured on the nose with nuances of rose petal, grilled herbs, and dark chocolate, the palate reveals full bodied intense flavors of blackberry, plum jam, and vanilla. The finish delivers a mix of cassis, melted licorice, and damp earth with a bold tannin presence that confirms this is a serious wine with many great years ahead of it. A stunning expression of Merlot that you should expect from an elite Right Bank Bordeaux winemaker.