Impenetrable, ridiculously staining blue ruby with crimson edges. Effusive nutty coffee, chaparral and wet leather in the nose, rising cake batter and a green streak of petrichor bordering on hot in its green-ness.
How many times this year have I told you Carneros grows the best Merlot in California? Just start paying attention to that on the label, folks, and you’ll start seeing a pattern. This is a little Joel Peterson project of a handful of varieties and a couple hundred cases of each. I haven’t had a Ravenswood wine in probably 10 years, but didn’t they have a Sangiacomo Merlot? I’m recalling this, but I could be wrong. And if it was either of the other two of the 3 R’s of Zin, it definitely was not Rosenblum, but very well could have been Ridge. I feel like it was Ravenswood though.
In the mouth, baby baby fruit, tight and unpolished, juvenile and delicious, it’s got a little of that big polished Napa Valley oak and orgasmic delirium lurking, but so shockingly acidic and tannic it definitely stands out. Tannins go abrasively green in the finish (I’m not complaining) and a little heat rides steadfastly through nose and palate (I’m complaining a little here). My tongue is telling me this is in the low 14’s, but it comes off a little boozier than that. I wouldn’t touch another one of these for a full year–then let’s see where it settles down.
Beautiful Merlot, which I NEVER see going flabby and vapid in 5 years like SOOOOO many do. Buy a case of this–if you can find it–and drink one a year.
2016 ONCE & FUTURE Merlot Sangiacomo Carneros Sonoma County 14.01