Mission Codename Cherry pie
Hear ye! Hear ye!
Carneros. Merlot. Sangiacomo (Again, two in a week, eek!)
That is all. That’s the proclamation. It’s a combination you may not immediately recognize but hear us out. There’s no better place to grow Merlot in California. They go together like pickle juice and peanut butter. Or pineapple and pizza. IYKYK.
Maybe this isn’t news to you. After all, a few well-known producers have tapped into the magic that Sangiacomo brings to Merlot. Made famous by Ravenswood, this fruit now goes into Joel Peterson’s Once & Future label, along with Muscardini Cellars. In the bigger cool climate picture, Keenan makes a great Carneros Merlot as well. Clos Pegase, Truchard, and Pine Ridge, too. Nickel & Nickel’s Suscol Ranch Merlot, while not quite in Carneros comes from a similar terroir nearby and is to die for.
So, Cuvée Wine Cellars? Not one we were familiar with honestly. But man, we are schooled now. 98% Merlot, spiked with 2% prime Napa Cabernet for good measure. With a little age, this is still glowing with a core of ripe fruit. Tannins are resolved and silky soft. While the fruit has a touch of secondary nuances around the edges, it’s mostly just a full-frontal assault of black plums, dusty boysenberry, and chocolate-covered cherries. Full-bodied, round, and the world-class finish echoes long, embarrassing many a Right Bank Bordeaux.
This is such an insider’s find that seeking press to back our fascination is a moot point. The only accolades it has are a conservative 93 points from the Orange Co. Fair and a Double Gold Medal from The Tasters Guild. All that jazz, for the $27 you’re stealing it for? Too bad there wasn’t more made.
What the Winery Says
2014 Carneros Merlot
- Paul Rogerville
- 98% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Sangiacomo Vineyard
- Carneros, Sonoma County
- 37 months
- 30% new French oak
- 4 barrels made