Built more like a Cabernet Sauvignon than a Merlot, this powerhouse vintage of 100% Merlot is as firm and extracted as can be, with an amazing concentration of color, ripe black fruit flavors and aromas. Currant and cassis, cocoa and espresso bean elements are jam-packed into this gentle giant, coating the entire palate with soft chewy tannins that melt away in a two-minute long finish.

Appellation: Napa
Sonoma
Vintage: 2003
Harvest: October 2003
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 100% Merlot
Alcohol: 14.5%
Bottling: April 2005
Production: 4684 cases
Release Date: May 2005
Price:
SOLD OUT

Reviews

  • The Wine Advocate: December 26 2005, Issue 162
    Rating: 88

    A blend of 52% Napa and 48% Sonoma fruit (the vineyard traverses the county lines), the 2003 Merlot exhibits notes of sweet oak, mocha, and berry fruit in its pretty, elegant, tasty, medium-bodied, plump personality.

  • Connoisseurs' Guide: November 2005
    Rating: 90

    Intense, fully extracted cherry-like fruit moves quickly to center stage here and refuses to relinquish the spotlight to both the lavish oak and chocolate ripeness that, try as they might, never quite steal the scene. The wine admits to a few ragged edges and does let a touch of heat show through at the finish, but it is so tasty as to make moot those few concerns and a brief stay in cellar of some two to four years seems certain to smooth it out nicely.

  • Wine Spectator Insider: July 13 2005
    Rating: 92

    An openly seductive style, with ripe currant, blackberry and wild berry fruit shaded by splashy mocha, espresso bean and oak flavors. It's complex and concentrated, but also quite tannic, so if you pull the cork tonight, decant an hour. Drink now through 2012