Author: Robert Parker
The 1997 Merlot, (3-year old vines and yields of only 1.6 tons of fruit per acre) did not receive an outstanding score simply because it was not complex. I suspect more complexity will emerge as the vineyard matures. The wine exhibits a saturated ruby/purple color, as well as copious quantities of toasty new oak in the nose, and mocha-infused, jammy cherry-like fruit. It is medium to full-bodied, rich, and monolithic, but impressively balanced and pure, with mouth-staining levels of extract. Low acidity and an up-front, flamboyant style suggest it can be drunk now and over the next 10-12 years. Merlot fanatics may rate it even higher than I did.
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