2016 'Stymie Founder's Reserve' Lake County Merlot
Merlot •Stymie Bench Vineyard
California: Lake County
Firm as Steele
Have you been conditioning your palate to bench-press 2,000 pounds of fruit? Are you a big, bad Cab-crushing Kemosabe, or a red wine downing badass?
You need to step into the ring with this pumped-up, puffed-out Merlot from Steele. Wine Enthusiast rightly awarded it an Editors’ Choice, calling it “slightly decadent yet totally delicious” in their 93-point review.
And the best part? We strongarmed that price down by 55% to just $19.
Some of us have been in this business long enough to remember how HOT Steele wines were in the 1990s when they hit the scene. A little digging reveals such praise from Robert Parker, “Formerly the winemaker at Kendall-Jackson, Jed Steele is to be highly commended for his debut releases… If Mr. Steele is able to follow up on quality such as this in California’s better vintages, he will quickly establish himself as one of the superstars of his profession. His wines possess great fruit, excellent to outstanding richness, and superb purity and focus. None of his wines are excessively woody.”
Sometimes we taste a wine like this and there’s instant unanimous approval from every one of us.
It’s totally in that “Cab lovers’ Merlot” wheelhouse, so plump, luscious, and built like a brick house too. May not be excessively woody – yet it’s certainly got a healthy dose of oak, and it’s all integrated seamlessly alongside buckets of black plum, boysenberry, and blueberry jam, piles of sweet tobacco, a nice touch of vanilla, and a pinch of nutmeg. Concentrated, rich, expansive, just so immensely satisfying we really don’t know what else to say… this one utterly blew us away.
Obviously, we loaded up a few cases for our own stashes before the sale because we know how many of you LOVE this - even if you don’t know it yet. Now it’s your turn.
93 Points, Editors’ Choice! – Wine Enthusiast
“Lavish oak aromas and flavors imbue this full-bodied wine with deep and complex notes of earth, tobacco and mole sauce that beautifully complement the gorgeous black-cherry core. It’s slightly decadent yet totally delicious.”
A translucent and narrow claret rim gives way to an abyss of a deep, near-black core
Hints of oak integrated seamlessly alongside buckets of black plum, boysenberry, blueberry jam, sweet tobacco, vanilla, and nutmeg
It’s totally in that “Cab lovers’ Merlot” wheelhouse, so plump, luscious, and built like a brick house too
Concentrated, rich, expansive, just so immensely satisfying and long as can be
This will ignite your pasta weekday night, with a hearty sauce especially, be it bolognese or pesto
What the Winery Says
- Jed Steele
- 100% Merlot
- Red Hills, Lake County
- Stymie Bench Vineyard
- Vine age
- 15 years average
- Total acidity
- 5.6 g/L
- Residual sugar
- 0.02 g/L
- 3 tons/acre
- 22 months
- 20% new French & American oak