2014 'Cunat Reserve' Oak Knoll District Napa Valley
California: Napa Valley: Oak Knoll District
Cunat believe this
That’s it. Can’t sell another fine Merlot after this one.
Nothing will compete. NOTHING. Materra just dunked on everything else out there in the classiest Merlot department at a stupefying 74% off! We don’t foresee any topping this.
Materra. Probably have not heard of them, as they’re a quiet Napa Valley powerhouse. Driven by Chelsea Barrett (yes, she is Heidi Barrett’s daughter) who honed her craft at Opus One, Joel Gott, and Two Hands before working with Heidi at Amuse Bouche and Au Sommet. Factor in consulting winemaker Michael Trujillo, another winemaking force who launched Karl Lawrence Cellars, and you have a serious reckoning at foot. Trujillo spent 13 years with the fabled André Tchelistcheff at Sequoia Grove by the way, and that kind of legacy is RARE these days, just like this haunting Reserve.
INKY. Dark. SO dark. You’ve heard about “Cab lovers Merlot” and this right here is the legal definition of that. Heaps of crushed blackberry, tar, graphite, eucalyptus, and sweet oak. Supremely balanced with a texture akin to satin on the palate, yet with serious umph beneath. It’s just a massive, head-spinningly complex work, second only to their Cab in the hierarchy of wines they make. At $110 it holds its own in the value department, but at our price, even a fool could not pass it up!
Years of cellaring at the winery library has morphed and mellowed this into a well-aged Pomerol-esque profile. Let’s be honest, thanks to the mainstream wine press completely overlooking this gem, we were able to coax this deal, otherwise this wine IS worth the $110 the winery gets for it. They let us have at it because they KNOW how much our Operatives appreciate hidden gems.
The only press we could find to boost our excitement here is a Wine Spectator Tasting Highlight that picked a previous vintage Materra as one of “12 Rock Star Merlots from California” claiming, “Merlot’s recent quality surge is proving naysayers wrong; it’s been long enough since the grape’s name was put at the bottom of the spit bucket! At its best, Merlot shows a seductive quality that relies more on finesse than power.” So, take a hike Miles, cause THAT’s what matters!
Highly LIMITED so be the early bird, then thank us.
INKY, dark… SO dark
Heaps of crushed blackberry, tar, graphite, eucalyptus, and sweet oak
Supremely balanced with a texture akin to satin, yet with serious umph beneath
It’s just a massive, head spinninginly complex work, long, VERY long for a Merlot
Don’t be shy with the rich, fatty proteins, mushrooms, spices, has the guts to face all
What the Winery Says
- Chelsea Barrett & Michael Trujillo
- 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley
- Bottling date
- May 2016
- 22 months
- 100% new French oak