This is one of the drier, more structured Merlots from any Napa appellation in recent memory. Far from being a soft, gooey fruit bomb, its marked by big-time tannins, with herb, leather, olive tapenade, cherry and dark unsweetened chocolate flavors. It might strike fruit fans as austere, but true aficionados will recognize a great mountain wine of enormous complexity.
This Napa subappellation is a hotbed for large-bodied, tough-to-read mountain Cabs. Don’t judge this wine so much by its tight, almost sauvage nose, but instead zero in on the fine toast on top of cassis and black plums. Deep and dark right until the very end, with soft but firm tannins.
Re-released at nearly six years of age. One sniff is all you need to know there’s a lot of new, toasted oak here. It’s a big, dark, extracted wine, and also a very tannic one, with a deep core of ripe blackberry and blueberry flavors. Despite its age, it still needs time. Best to let it come around by, say, 2008.
Marked by hard, firm tannins, this is a dry, astringent wine. It has a nice core of cherry and cassis flavor, but the tannins reprise on the finish, sending the wine into lockdown mode. Decanting and rich, marbled beef will help to resolve the toughness.