The 2009 La Muse (86% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec; 14.5% alcohol) is a blockbuster offering complex, intense notes of Asian plum sauce, figs, black currants, white chocolate and cedar. The wine reveals an extra level of texture and richness along with full body, an unctuous texture, and a super ripeness and richness that does not go over the top. The tannins are noticeable, but well-integrated as are the new oak and acidity. This big, backstrapping, Merlot-based wine is meant for long-term cellaring. Give it 4-5 more years in the bottle and enjoy it over the following 30 years. (RP) 96+
The 2009 La Muse is a rich, sumptuous wine bursting with dark plums, black, cherries, graphite, espresso, spices and licorice. It shows gorgeous balance from start to finish. Persistent veins of minerality frame the long, beautifully articulate, creamy finish. This is a deceptively accessible wine today, but there is so much underlying power and sheer structure that I will not be surprised if it shuts down in the bottle. The 2009 is 86% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec. (AG)
(the Pomerol of the trio, based on 86% merlot): Bright red-ruby. Sweet aromas of black raspberry, bitter chocolate, violet and smoke. Large-scaled, velvety and deep, with outstanding intensity and sweetness to its dark berry, violet and mineral flavors. Boasts a compelling combination of suavity of texture and sheer energy. Extremely long on the aftertaste, with noble tannins barely noticeable today. (ST)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)