A tremendous achievement in Merlot. The vineyard, around 1,600 feet up on Mt. Veeder, is now owned by the Jackson family, and the winemaker is Chris Carpenter, who oversees Cardinale. In fact, this Merlot bears an uncanny resemblance to Cardinale in the dramatically ripe, sweet fruit and superb, tannin-based structure. It’s 100% Merlot, with hefty yet balanced alcohol, and the wine easily handles the 85% new French oak in which it was aged for 22 months.