Jenny Wagner, youngest child of Chuck Wagner (of Caymus fame), is the winemaker at Emmolo, which is named after her mother Cheryl Emmolo. The Emmolo family too has a long history in Napa Valley. Great-grandfather Salvatore Emmolo started a grape rootstock nursery in Napa in 1923. His son Frank took over the nursery and planted Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot on the family property. Hence the two grape varietals grown and made by Emmolo. The 2015 growing season was dry and warm. Thanks to California's drought, yields were quite low, but this translated into concentrated, high-quality fruit. Tasting notes from the winery on the 2015 Merlot: "A deep purplish red, this wine is rich on both the nose and palate. Scents of lush dark plums mix with candle spice, saddle leather, floral notes, and cocoa baking powder. A sweet smokiness calls to mind the smell of a campfire burning in the woods. The palate starts off smooth and continually expands, with earthy flavors of dark fruit compote, baking chocolate, leather and toasty oak. Gritty, finely textured tannins build all the way through the finish, which lingers with notes of bittersweet chocolate and ripe berries."
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