This very deep and involving wine is definitively Merlot in its unwavering focus on concentrated black cherries, yet it is far more than simply fruity and reveals lovely, sweet oak support with gentle notes of fresh loam. It has plenty of weight but is carefully constructed and matches richness with considerable refinement, and, if it progressively firms and tightens a touch as it crosses the palate, it exhibits remarkable stamina and fruity strength. It serves to remind that top-flight Merlot deserves a special place in the cellar, and it takes its accustomed position among those at the head of the varietal class.
An integrated, powerful wine from a famous northern Napa Valley site, this wine offers notes of baked plum and cherry wrap around the structured, spicy oak. Lingering accents of a pepper, clove and graphite grace the finish. (VB)
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