The 2014 Joel Gott California Merlot has aromas of black cherry and blueberry with notes of vanilla and spice. On the palate, ripe blackberry and mocha flavors are complemented by bright, well-balanced acidity, and followed by soft, juicy tannins and an elegant finish. Low winter rainfall was followed by a warmer than average spring and summer, making for a shorter than normal growing season. As a result, across California fruit matured faster and was picked earlier. In Paso Robles berry size was was smaller than average, helping to create rich fruit flavors and well-structured tannins. Fruit from Napa Valley added depth of color and well balanced acidity, while fruit from the red soils of the Lodi foothills provided minerality. After fermentation, the wine was aged in 25% new French oak and 75% 2-year-old American oak.