Last year, our California specialist, Clare, scored a major Napa coup. Those lucky enough to secure a case will remember it well – a secret red from an iconic estate in the premium Stags Leap District.
As luck would have it this year, Clare got another call from the winemaker. He had a tiny parcel of Merlot, available for a quick sale. The estate is famous for its Merlot, and it was especially delicious thanks to the “outstanding” 2015 vintage (Wine Spectator).
Clare was offered an amazing price, with two conditions. First, they needed payment up front. Done. Second, a non-disclosure agreement had to be signed. This winery has multiple 100-point scores from you-know-who, and a high-price reputation to protect.
Their Merlot usually starts at $50, so scoring this age-worthy bottle for such a low price is a major coup. Look forward to complex aromas of ripe, black and red berries, warm plum compote and smoky oak. On the palate, this is full bodied, rounded, weighty and dense – but also very generous and open. The rich fruit character is balanced by an appetizing freshness and the tannins are fine grained and polished.
We're talking incredible value for the money here – but painfully small quantities. (You know what you have to do.)