94-POINTS, BEST OF CLASS GOLD MEDAL 2022 LA INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION
93-POINTS, GOLD MEDAL 2021 SOMMELIERS CHALLENGE WINE COMPETITION The Prettiest Athlete in Napa Valley or YinYang Hillside Harmony?
I had originally titled this release the former but, given our seeming confusion over the sexes these days, I think I'll go with the latter. It's a better metaphor for Lot 195 anyhow, combining as it does so seamlessly the masculine and feminine qualities traditionally associated with wine.
Lot 195 comes to us from the same producer as Lot 194; however, it is purely a creation of Mark and my work on the blending table. It combines 60% Merlot (which, AFAIK, the producer does not traditionally bottle) with 20% of the Cabernet Sauvignon from Lot 194 and 20% of the Cabernet Franc that comprises Lot 196. The base Merlot component here is absolutely a stand-alone-quality wine but this blend was irresistible.
The result is a fantastic wine that combines the prettier spectrum of Bordelais aromatics with a muscular-yet-mineral-laden structure akin to more robust, age-worthy Burgundies. YinYang, indeed. The vineyard, as previously noted in the
Lot 194 release, is a hillside site in the relatively cool-climate of Napa's Wooden Valley.
There are only 300 cases available of this gorgeous wine and I highly recommend it for Napa Merlot fans as well as Pinot Noir fans. It will age beautifully for another 15-20 years, growing more ethereal and elegant with time (note the 14.3% alc). The overall quality is every bit as good as the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc which retail for over $80/bottle. At $25/bottle this is a stunning value.
Medium ruby in the glass. Soaring yet succulent bouquet with cherry candy and powdery, fresh, linen-like florals mixing with forest floor...deeper base notes of dark fruit and fresh-turned earth lie in the background. Racy and dynamic on the palate delivering nicely attenuated red and purple fruits set atop fantastic, mineral-coated tannins that go supernova on the mid-palate before presenting a constellation of pretty fruit notes that echo through a long finish. Sexy dyn-o-mite!
60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc
100% single-vineyard 50% new French oak, light toast 14.3% alc. 300 cases available Bottled May 19th, 2021