Hendry, Merlot "Hendry Block 13"
Hendry, Merlot "Hendry Block 13"

Hendry, Merlot "Hendry Block 13"

California, United States 2019 (750mL)
Regular price$43.00
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Hendry, Merlot "Hendry Block 13"

Hendry is one of Napa Valley’s unsung “heritage” properties, having first been planted in 1859 and purchased by George Hendry’s father in 1939. As grape prices began exploding in the second half of the 20th century, farmers began getting their hands dirty, thus starting a vine-planting frenzy. Consequently, most of Hendry estate was re-planted in the early ’70s, which quickly caught the attention of some legendary Napa neighbors, including Robert Mondavi. According to Hendry’s website, “by the late-’80s, Mondavi was buying all the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and dividing the Cabernet Sauvignon with Opus One.” 

Sustainability is a major focus at Hendry, which occupies more than 200 acres of low, rolling hills at the foot of Mount Veeder (114 acres are planted to vineyard). Soils are the classic “alluvial” mixture of gravel and loam, and the vineyards benefit from refreshing currents funneled up from the San Pablo Bay.

“Block 13” is a reference to the old-vine parcel of Merlot used to supply this bottling: Each year, Hendry harvests and fermenta all its Bordeaux varieties in small lots, aging them individually, each in a mixture new and neutral barrels. After about a year in barrel, proprietor George Hendry creates the estate’s signature “RED” blend, but, in select vintages, he also bottles small quantities of the individual components separately. This wine was aged a total of 15 months in French oak barrels, approximately 40% of which were new.

Pour this 2019 for that friend who claims to “hate” Merlot: This one is likely to change their mind. It is neither monolithic in terms of weight/extract nor is it overbearingly oaky. There’s a strong mineral/gravel component complementing the dark berry fruit, with additional notes of spice cake, forest floor, graphite, and toast. It is medium-plus in body, with good acidity and fine-grained tannins, reminiscent of a riper style of Right Bank Bordeaux. Pair it with a hearty Bolognese or maybe beef stew. Fewer than 400 cases were produced.

Hendry, Merlot "Hendry Block 13"

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