Here Merlot from Black Sage Bench’s Diamondback Vineyard is splashed with 9% Cabernet Franc and 2% Syrah and rests for 18 months in new, 1- and 2-year-old French oak before a further 18 months of bottle aging. The result is deep cassis, wild blackberry, thorn and a light smoke nose. The deep palate is full with black smoked plum, cedar, dark chocolate and fine clove spices, ending with a bitter tobacco leaf/espresso note. Tannins are firm, but smoothed over — all that additional aging served this big wine well, and it will continue to meld for another 2 to 4 years. Pour with rosemary lamb medallions now.
Crimson-tinged in the glass with cinnamon, nutmeg, a whiff of clove and subtle oak on the nose. Shows rich plum and cherry flavours with velvety tannins and a bit of youthful astringency. Long, complex finish displays integrated fruit, spice and fine oak. Drinking now with food but better with more time in the cellar.
An outstanding value, this fine Rioja shows the impact of aging in new oak barrels, with spicy, warmly ripe perfumed berry-fruit and subtle notes of vanilla oak on the nose. Generously ripe berry fruit in the mouth, led by bright raspberry, with deftly balanced acidity, lightly firm tannins, and a splash of mocha; culminates with fine fruit and deftly integrated oak on the long finish.
Peach, lime, bergamot, powdered candies, minerals, flowers and pear are built on a steely core of acidity. More linear than the Limestone North Block. There is electric acidity and 32 g/l of sugar, and like its brother, Limestone Ridge, it comes across as a dry. Long-lasting minerality carries the finale.
Enticingly scented combination of cherry, dark berry and subtle oak with a dusting of cinnamon and a hint of fresh green herb. Mouth-filling dark berry and chocolate take over on the palate with supple tannins, well-integrated fruit, spice and fine oak.
This single-vineyard blend grabs your attention with its floral-fruity Grenache, spicy Syrah and fleshy Mourvedre. Fragrant violets, ripe dark berries, judicious spice and silky tannins impress. Finishes with expressive garrigue and liquorice tones, with hints of bacon. A lovely glass to ponder.
The relatively long 2009 growing season produced ripe fruit flavours of apple, pear, peach, melon and papaya. French oak barrel fermentation brought out toasted almond aromas, spicy flavours and a long, complex finish. Lees stirring and aging generate a rich mouthfeel. Pair with cedar plank salmon.