This certified organic estate, farmed biodynamically, is situated on the loamy gravel benches north of St. Helena. This wine is a cuvée of 92 percent Merlot and 8 percent Cabernet Franc. Fermentation was with native yeast, and it was raised in French oak, half new, which it wears like a silk slip dress. This is a New World wine, without a doubt, more about fruit than earth, and that quality is redoubled by the perfection of the 2012 vintage. Still, there is restraint on exhibit here, and the wine’s generosity is hemmed by woodsy tannins and fruit that stays shy of sweet. The winery positions this as a Merlot for fans of Cabernet Sauvignon, but I think they’re underselling the inherent qualities of this particular Merlot on this particular site in this particular vintage.
14.2% abv | $55 (sample)