The 2011 John X Merriman was blended from 17 lots that were vinified separately and sees 20 months in new French oak. It is much more closed than the 2010 despite rigorous coaxing. The palate is well-balanced with fine tannin and a little more tension than the previous vintage, gradually building in the mouth toward an intense, white pepper, savory finish. I would give this five or six years in bottle because it may ultimately out-perform the 2010. Drink 2016-2024. (NM)
Bright, saturated ruby-red. Aromas of plum, mocha, cigar box, tobacco and wild herbs, along with strong exotic oak tones. A much mellower, smoother wine than the entry-level 2014 Cabernet, offering a sexy penetrating sweetness and very good energy to the flavors of dark berries, tobacco leaf, licorice and minerals. Spreads out nicely to saturate the palate and builds on the back end. Tannins are substantial but pliant and integrated. Much creamier and sweeter than the basic 2014 Cabernet but has the balance and structure for aging. (ST)
A firm, smoky style, with a tobacco leaf and charcoal frame around mature mulled currant and blackberry fruit flavors. Mint and bay shadings on the finish complete the old-school feel. Approachable now, but has enough rustic guts to cellar further. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2023. (JM)
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