Levy & McClellan Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Coombsville, Napa Valley
21months, Fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged in 100% new French oak
July 24th, 2014
This is a lovely and balanced Merlot, hailing from the steep Coombsville appellation domains of John Caldwell, a legendary viticulturist and wine grower. In the nose there are soft but vibrant aromatics of black cherry, overripe strawberry, barrel spice and vanilla. The oak program speaks to 100% new tight grain Sylvain cooperage, one of my very favorite for cradling and expressing the lively nuances of Merlot. For being a steep, rocky Merlot site, this wine is incredibly detailed and well textured. All too often these wines from mountain sources can be tannic, astringent and overpowered in just one linear direction. This wine has structure but beautiful balance. There are no holes in the transition of sweet red fruit from the beginning to middle to finish. Length and sweet black fruits linger to several seconds on the end. This was a very small bottling of just 50 few cases. I think aged well this is certainly a 10 to 15 year wine. The 2012 Merlot is a nice, fleshy, rather opulent, chunky style of Merlot with a deep, ruby/purple color, lots of mocha and black cherry fruit pushing toward even darker berries. It’s plush, lush, irresistible and cuts a medium to full-bodied swath across the palate. Drink it over the next 5-7 years.