I love the upfront, sexy and polished 2013 Fenix, which is the estate’s Merlot-dominated blend. Incorporating 30% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, this full-bodied beauty gives up loads of plum, chocolate, smoked herbs and underbrush in a rich, mouth-filling, hard to resist style. Drink it over the coming 10-15 years. This Ballard Canyon estate pulls from estate vineyards, and the wines are made by Matt Dees, who's unquestionably one of the most talented winemakers in the central coast. The 2013s are all gorgeous wines that shows the more structured, age-worthy side to the vintage (which is the MO at this estate) and will benefit from short term cellaring. (JD)
The 2013 Fenix is another striking wine. A healthy dollop of Cabernet Franc adds aromatic lift and brightness to this super-expressive Merlot-based red, while veins of salinity extend the finish. Rose petal, pomegranate, sage, mint and blood orange give the Fenix an extra touch of exotic flair. Totally effortless and gracious, the 2013 Fenix is another winner from Jonata. The blend is 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. (AG)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)