This complete and fulfilling Merlot has lots of stuffing. The flavors run toward ripe plums and blackberries, with an undertow of green olive, coffee and chocolate. Oak brings smoky vanillins and adds its own sort of sweetness. But the real wonder are the tannins, which are rich, ripe and complex.
Very young, with a cut of acidity that has yet to be integrated into the oaky, rather flamboyant flavors of cassis and blackberries. It’s all there, including lush tannins, but needs a few years to come together. Best after 2005. A new label from Atlas Peak.
The ’01, reviewed last year, lost a few points for a cut of sharp acidity. This one does, too. There are deliciously full flavors of blackberries and cassis, and great, rich tannins, but that acidity really prickles the palate.