The 2006 growing season was a long, temperate one that culminated in some of the longest hang times in our history. Harvested in mid-November, our redolent Lower Mountain Top Merlot block (the perennial contributor to our Vintner Select Merlot as well) forms the backbone of this cuvee, comprising 67% of the blend. The balance of the blend is sourced from our Rock Arch, Carolyn’s and Rim Rock blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon, providing the structure to balance the opulent Merlot. The effusive nose reveals ripe black plum, morello cherries and blueberries layered upon spice tones of nutmeg, cocoa and roasted coffee beans. On the palate, the concentrated dark fruit of the attack leads into a sumptuous mid-palate and finishes with very ripe tannins that provide a lingering velvety structure.

Appellation: Napa/Sonoma
Vintage: 2006
Harvest: November 2006
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 67% Merlot
33% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 15.2%
Bottling: December 2008
Production: 414 cases
Release Date: March 2009
Price: $125.00
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Reviews

  • Alan Duran’s Periodic Review of Bordeaux: Volume 14
    Rating: 95

    It is almost identical in quality to the Cabernet offering. This Reserve displays a garnet ruby/purple edged color, followed by big velvety fragrances of mushroom, blue flower extract, and candied-cassis interwoven with mulberry galore. This is broad shouldered, full-bodied, potent, and flavorful, with an undeniable lingering of flavor and purity. It is built to be cellared extensively due to the broad tannin, potency, and length. One of the top wines of the vintage! Maturity period 2015-2035.

  • The Wine Advocate: December 2009 Issue 186
    Rating: 96

    The sensational 2006 Reserve Claret boasts an opaque purple color in addition to sweet notes of creme de cassis, flowers, charcoal, graphite, and espresso roast. Full-bodied with layers of depth and richness, moderately high but sweet tannins, and a terrific finish, it will be even better with 3-4 years of bottle age, and should last two decades.

  • Wine Spectator Insider: March 24, 2010
    Rating: 92

    Balances finesse with great structure, offering bold aromas of currant and espresso bean with complex, layered flavors of black cherry, bittersweet chocolate and toasty oak. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2011 through 2015.—T.F.

  • California Grapevine: February/March 2010
    Rating: 90

    Medium brickish ruby color; attractive, forward, intense, complex, blueberry and ripe black cherry fruit aroma with notes of vanilla and roasted coffee bean; full body; big, textured, concentrated, black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors with good depth, hints of dark chocolate and a velvety mouthfeel; firmly structured; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended.

  • Wine Enthusiast: May 2010
    Rating: 94

    The Merlot that dominates this wine shows in the wealth of red and black cherries, but one-third Cabernet Sauvignon contributes its telltale signature of blackberries and black currants. New oak, however, dominates in the wine’s youth, giving caramel and roasted marshmallow flavors. Very fine, very concentrated and intense, and in need of cellaring. Give it until 2011, and drink for the next 6–8 years. Cellar Selection