International Wine Cellar
Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 96
Saturated medium ruby. Cool but complex nose combines black raspberry, blueberry, leather, game, fresh herbs and sweet oak; distinctly sauvage and fascinating. Less dense than the '99 but still lush and deep; flavors really build in the mouth. Complicating notes of tomato and game. Finishes very long, with impressively smooth tannins for this difficult year.
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Author: Robert Parker
The 1998 Merlot (400 cases of 95% Merlot and 5% Syrah) makes it debut under the Arietta label. It is a tightly-knit, structured Merlot (remember the outstanding Merlots fashioned when John Kongsgaard was the winemaker at Newton?) revealing expressive aromas and flavors of jammy berry fruit intermixed with chocolate. Full-bodied and rich, yet backward, it requires 2-3 years of cellaring, and should keep for 15-18 years.
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