Nose

Of all our newly released wines, the Firebelle has by far the most inviting aromatic profile. Burnt matchstick gives way to plum skin and accents the wine’s ripe, red, fleshy core. Further investigation reveals scents of flowers, a touch of spice, some clove and sassafras bark that linger in the glass, even after the wine is consumed.

Palate

In the mouth, the Merlot dominates the supple core of this wine, but – as with the ever-shifting aromatics – the palate is similarly changeable: nimble and ethereal with one sip, smooth and charming the next. The young vine Cabernet that makes up a quarter of the blend adds to the red fruit tones and makes for a bright, fresh finish.

Growing Conditions

Calistoga has been famous for its Merlot production (Three Palms Vineyard); and Larkmead is well suited to continue the conversation that world class Merlot can be produced and bottled in Napa Valley. Historically a multi-variety blend, this wine has accentuated the soft, plush texture and flavor of Merlot, but highlighted the overall structure of Bordeaux varieties. Our Merlot at Larkmead, planted on rich loam soils full of clay and gravel produces Merlot that tastes like Merlot but acts like Cabernet. It is our goal to allow this wine to express its density, weight and power while maintaining its attractive aroma and flavor profiles. Though always a wine that provides early pleasure in the glass, the Firebelle will also reward cellaring. With 10- 15 years of age, this wine will show its classic Bordelaise plum character wrapped in dried tobacco and cigar ash. Drink now and over the course of the next 15-25 years. S O I L P R O F I L E : PLEASANTON LOAM (CLAY)

Aging

FRENCH OAK AGING: 19 MONTHS, 66% NEW TONNELLERIE BOSSUET