92 POINTS, GOLD MEDAL! 2021 CRITICS CHALLENGE WINE COMPETITION
A brooding Merlot that will change anyone’s mind about the variety to the positive side. A Gold Award winner at the 2021 Critics Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition. 92-POINTS July 6, 2021
Its safe to say that when its comes to Napa Valley red wines, Merlot absolutely over-delivers in comparison to Cabernet Sauvignon. After the massive culling of California's Merlot vines in the wake of
Sideways the movie and the early 2000's oversupply, what's left is the best performing vines wineries were loathe to part with.
Today's offering is sourced from one of Oakville's legendary eastside producers and a combination of 60% Oakville Estate Merlot and 37% from Oak Knoll's western alluvial fans (plus a dollop of 3% Atlas Peak Cabernet we feathered for added depth and focus). The result is deliciously seamless combination of perfectly ripe fruit and loamy earth. At $60+ at the winery, its an extraordinary value at $19/bottle.
Deeply colored and beautifully aromatic with blue and black fruit layered against a background of loamy olive and toasty French oak. Again, its seamless and supple across the palate with brown sugar, clove, blackberry and more toasty french oak haloed with Anaheim chile spice. The finish is long and layered. Drink now and over the next decade.
Check-in tasting 6.23.21 - Even as a barrel sample, this wine took a few days to open up and it is finally opening up in the bottle. No surprise that it is doing so now but the evolution is still surprising from a couple months ago. Beautiful, pure, singing cherry fruit mixes with sweet florals and graphite. A true elevage of character coalescing beautifully with pomegranate, refined savory notes of humidor and aged spruce. Fleshy yet composed, extracted with restraint. Still nicely wound on the palate with pretty acidity lifting elegant red fruits. Fantastic, very classy wine from a legendary producer
60% Oakville, 37% Oak Knoll, 3% Atlas Peak
50% new French oak 600 cases produced 14.8% Alc. Bottled June 30th, 2020