2016 Mt. Veeder Napa Valley Merlot
California: Napa Valley: Mt. Veeder
This ain’t any old Merlot.
THE Mt. Brave?!
A super “in the know” collector’s favorite. And it happens to be their highest scoring Merlot ever. Lauded as a “brilliant wine…one of the top Merlots of the vintage” by Jeb Dunnuck in his 96-point review. His glowing praise continued, describing it as “true Merlot opulence paired with considerable purity and elegance.”
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate echoed the sentiment, calling it “full, rich, firm and oh so plush.”
Yea, Merlot, but it’s the good kind. The pumped up, Sumo-sized, monster truck madness kind. Or as the pros write it’s the “brawny, brooding, powerful” kind. Bred from the rugged volcanic soils 1,800 feet above sea level on Mt. Veeder. Crafted by none other than Chris Carpenter, who puts his mark on so many huge scoring wines nearby at Lokoya, La Jota, and Cardinale and claims that “For the 2016 harvest, we had an almost perfect spring, the growing conditions during the summer had minor extremes and the ripening period was almost as ideal.”
Not a wimpy wine in any way, it’s built with a towering structure. It has the stuffing to last for many years to come and will certainly improve with a couple of years but it’s drinking so nice right now. Generous, flowing, no make that ROARING with dark black and blue fruit. We’re talking blueberry preserves, black cherries, star anise, savory herbs, and vanilla held together by a huge tannic backbone. Give this one plenty of air and preferably, some time in your cellar. Serve it up with some braised short ribs for a prime experience.
We’ll draw upon our boy Jeb D. one more time before signing off. He said even at the winery mailing list cost it’s a screaming deal. So, what about at our price, a third off?! With FOUR 94-96 scores??? A staggering offer if ever there was one, and not to be missed!
We must have a boatload of karma because how else could we land a wine of this caliber?? And at this price? Insanity.
96 Points – Jeb Dunnuck
“Starting with the 2016 Merlot Mt. Veeder, this brilliant wine is one of the top Merlots in the vintage. Purple-hued, fleshy, and beautifully full-bodied, it has terrific notes of black fruits, chocolate, and underbrush, fine yet building tannins, a stacked mid-palate, and a great finish. Even at $80, it’s a screaming deal and has true Merlot opulence paired with considerable purity and elegance. It will keep for 15-20 years. Drink 2019-2034.”
94 Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“Composed of 82% Merlot and 18% Malbec, the 2016 Merlot Mt. Veeder has a deep garnet-purple color and opens with sexy spiced plums, warm blueberries and potpourri scents with hints of fragrant earth, violets and dark chocolate. Full, rich, firm and oh-so-plush, it has a decadently fruited palate and a very long finish with some licorice hints coming through. Drink 2019-2034.”
94 Points, Cellar Selection – Wine Enthusiast
“This is a brawny, herbal and structured wine from the great appellation, as wild and challenging as its provenance. Cedar, dried herb and clove surround dense black currant, licorice and brambly blackberry, with sinewy tannin and toasted oak in abundance. This will do well in the cellar; best 2026–2031.”
94 Points – Wine Spectator
“Powerful, brooding and full of dark plum, dried blackberry and cherry flavors that feature notes of dark olive. Shows savory richness midpalate, with firm tannins on the finish, accented by dark chocolate details. Best from 2021 through 2026.”
Deep, deep ruby, peeking through only in the circumference where light escapes through
Generous, flowing, no make that ROARING with dark black and blue fruit, and much, much more
Blueberry preserves, black cherries, star anise, savory herbs, and vanilla held together by a huge tannic backbone
Has the stuffing to last for many years to come and will certainly improve with a couple of years but it’s drinking so nice right now
Serve it up with some braised short ribs for a prime experience
What the Winery Says
- Chris Carpenter
- 82% Merlot, 18% Malbec
- Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley
- Mt. Brave Vineyard
- Total acidity
- 6.3 g/L
- Harvest date
- October 7, 2016
- 20 months
- 73% new French oak
- 10 barrels