Napa Valley, CA
89% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot; 14.5% ABV
Oak Barrels: 95% French and 5% American (50% New)
$17 or $18 at the Oakland, CA, store on 7 Nov. $30 on the winery web site.
This wine was pretty tasty not long after the first pour, but don’t let it fool you into thinking that’s all there is to it. I thought it was at its best after about three hours in a decanter. Then, it showed ripe, rich fruit of blackcurrant, dark cherry, blackberry, dark purple plum, rich dark earth, supporting vanilla / oak, with balancing acid of those fruits plus some cranberry / raspberry. It has some of the “cooked rhubarb” flavor I dislike, and despite a tannic edge at the finish, most of the taste is more lush than structured. So, although it’s not really my kind of wine, it is a delicious, complex, and substantial wine for the money that will likely age well for several years.
The next day, a saved single-glass screw-cap bottle was redder and blacker, less blue. The tannic edge was more integrated into making a more delineated structure. Overall, though, I preferred it on the first night, when it seemed more sweet and full. Probably I’d like it even better after about 5 to 7 years of age.
Disclosure: this bottle was an unsolicited gift from Robaire.