One sip is all it takes to understand that this is a vital, impressive and possibly profound wine. A blend of 96% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, it displays the voluptuous richness of a Heidi Barrett wine, but also shows a firmness of character and a structural dryness that elevate it. Exceptionally flavorful in blackberries and cherries, it has tantalizing hints of…
Last year’s bottling was elegant and refined. This year, the Merlot-Cabernet Franc blend remains an extremely elegant wine, yet is even richer in chocolate-cherry flavor, drizzled with vanilla and cinnamon, and wickedly soft on the palate. Somehow, all this richness manages to stay dry.
This is one of those superripe, superopulent, superfancy reds that makes tasters stop and pause. A volouptuous wine, so ripe in cassis, cherry and chocolate truffle, so smooth in tannins, yet balanced. This is truly New World winemaking at its most profound, but a bit obvious. Drink now–2010, at least.
Winemaker-owner Heidi Peterson Barrett (Screaming Eagle, La Sirena, others) chose only Merlot and Cab Franc for this first release, obviously meant to make a statement with its fancy graphics, rock-heavy bottle and price. The wine is delicious, but so ethereal, you wonder if it wouldn’t benefit from a little Cabernet.