Fontanella Family Winery

2008 Merlot
Mount Veeder

2010 Offering
Premiere Napa Valley
Auction 14 | Lot No. 76


Fontanella Family Winery

Mount Veeder

5 cases produced

We're giving the wine world a reason to bring back Merlot! Luscious Mt. Veeder grapes give this Merlot complexity, depth and rich notes of chocolate, black cherries and blueberries. Steep, volcanic ash soils above 1,200 feet make for concentrated grapes with deep extraction and concentrated fruit.

Aging Process

20 months in 100% new French Oak

Wine Facts

  • pH: 3.8
  • Single vineyard wine

Tasting Chart

bone dry very sweet
light body very full bodied
soft, gentle very crisp
no tannins heavy tannins

Jeff Fontanella

Winemaker, Fontanella Family Winery

Winemaker, Jeff Fontanella

Owner/winemaker Jeff Fontanella has been making wine in Napa Valley for 12 years. A graduate of the University of California, Davis, he holds a degree in Viticulture and Enology. Jeff began his winemaking career working in the cellars of Opus One and ZD.

Soon after, he took a position at one of Napa’s great cult wineries, Saddleback Cellars. At Saddleback, Jeff sharpened his winemaking skills under the tutelage of Nils Venge, whom Robert Parker named one of the 20 most influential winemakers in the world. During his tenure at Saddleback, Jeff was able to hone his stylistic approach to winemaking while reinforcing his technical training in the art.

For the last five years, Jeff has been a consulting winemaker for a number of small ultra-premium boutique wine brands, including Carter Cellars, Richard Partridge, Highlands and Melanson, to name a few.

Country born: United States

Education: B.S. - Enology and Viticulture from U.C. Davis

Years in the wine industry: 10-15 years

Winemaking Philosophy:
Complexity, balance and depth are our winemaking goals. The primary control built into this is soil type variation. Our theory is that the majority of the distinctive character of the wine is dependant on the soil type and microclimate where it is grown. As a winery, we can influence the wines final characteristics, put our style to it, so to speak, but it is impossible to change the inherent core structure of the wine. Winemaking starts in the vineyard.

Q&A With the Winemaker

Q: Premiere Napa Valley wines are innovative and allow each winery to showcase the region's sense of exploration in fine winemaking. What kind of exploration did your Premiere Napa Valley wine allow you to do?

A: We wanted to showcase the concentration and depth of Merlot from Mt Veeeder. We believe that Merlot from this Appelation can achieve anything a Cabernet sauvignon can.

Q: What was your inspiration for this offering?

A: Merlot is as big and bad ass as any Cabernet Sauvignon.

Q: Fill in the blanks: I chose to make this wine from this particular ______________ because ______________.

A: I chose to make this wine from this particular  Mt Veeder  because  It Rocks! The steep Volcanic ash slopes make a Premier Wine.

Q: Why should a wine lover have a bottle of this wine in their cellar?

A: This is the only Merlot ever produced by Fontanella Family Winery.

1st Avenue Wine House

3412 1st Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids  IA  52402


Premiere Napa Valley Wine Collection

Winery Vintage Variety Appellation Fanciful Auction
Dutch Henry Winery 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Lost Dog 17
Waterstone 2008 Red Wine Los Carneros Study in Red 15
Astrale e Terra 2007 Syrah Atlas Peak 14
Fontanella Family Winery 2008 Merlot Mount Veeder 14
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