Monster Merlot, a wine that kicks butt from first to finish. Pours a deep garnet, and leaves streaky glycerine on the glass. Opening aromas are young and closed, of blackberry, ground coffee and spice. In the mouth, explodes with rich flavors of cassis, chocolate and spicy plum pudding. For all its size, this gorgeous wine is balanced and harmonious.
This is beautiful and rich in blackberries, black currants and dark chocolate, with a warming note suggestive of crème de cassis. It shows terrific concentration and a classy structure that’s pedigreed and elegant. The tannins are big, so give it a good decant; drink now and for the next five years.
This intense and concentrated wine shows a youthful precocity, but it also has the balance and stuffing to age gracefully. The cassis, cherry, smoky oak, mocha and mint flavors are generous, and the tannins are notable but negotiable. Drink now through the decade.
Co-released with N&N’s Suscol Ranch Merlot. This one’s as ripe in currant, black cherry and chocolate fruit, and the tannins are as intricate and complex. Seems just a shade less complete, although it’s still a dazzling wine.
Raspingly dry and fierce in tannins, this Merlot is quite different from other Bordeaux-style red wines from Oakville that are ripe and lush. Doesn’t offer much reward now due to the astringency, but has a solid core of blackberries. Hard to know if the fruit will outlast the tannins.
Although in this hot vintage it explodes in cherries, blackberries, milk chocolate and new oak flavors, it’s far more tannic than most Napa Valley wines. The combination of toughness and almost sweet ripeness makes for strange bedfellows.
Far more tannic and closed down than most Oakville Bordeaux red wines, this Merlot’s dry tannins are its main feature. It’s tough, dry and astringent, with a core of black cherries, currants and smoky oak. But it shows promise. Try cellaring through 2012.