Light golden ruby with thin clear edges. An ethereal dusty floral brilliance rises out, cloaked in minty briar and eucalyptus. It constantly woos between dark and brooding and light and delicate–and everything wrapped in a beautiful patina of slight age. Constant dessert pecan pie decadence runs off of its sharp edges of acid creating an almost Perfect Storm of claret-like finesse.
Let’s get one thing straight. This is not our typical lush velvety Napa Merlot. No. It is calssic brilliance harking back a couple decades when wine had structure and complexity of nose and vibrant earthy nuances and stemmy brilliance. But anyone who follows my palate knows this is going to get higher marks than the modern norm. This is classic streamlined Claret. This is Pomerol. Smoky and dense, lavish in cinnamon and sage, but at the same time Lean & Mean, reeking acid and tannins you can SMELL.
In the mouth, stemmy and chewily tannic from the get-go. Bright Flame-grape fruit lays over dense nutmeg and chaparral while wracking tannins raise their hands high from almost entry, green and bitter, all the while still showing that beautiful patina of 2009. This is one of those wines which constantly confuses between delicate and thundering. Everything is so light, so nuanced and delicate, but a powerhouse lurks. For those of you who remember Napa Valley wineries and their red wine offerings in the 80’s and 90’s, this will bring back BEAUTIFUL memories. This is one of those wines I occasionally say, “Buy a case and drink one a year.” Except in this case I would say buy TWO cases and try to keep your hands off it. This will be a 15-year Merlot.
2009 MATERRA Merlot Oak Knoll District Napa Valley 14.2