Mission Codename Amore di Meritage
Neighbors like Colgin, Dalla Valle, Bryant Family, Continuum and Chappellet? Could a superb red from Pritchard Hill, THE quintessential elitist address of all of Napa Valley really be had for $37? Only at The Wine Spies, dear Operatives, by far at the best price in the US of A! We bring you our very first feature from David Arthur. Wine Enthusiast conducted a blind tasting with the best of the best grown on Pritchard Hill, quote – “this high part of the Vaca Mountains, off the beaten path and remote, is producing among the most profound wines in Napa Valley” – unquote, and guess who tied for 1st place with Colgin? Yep, from this winner, comes today’s steal…
A lively translucent ruby core is surrounded by a gentle, gradually fading garnet cloak, such an inviting look! Cherries and herbs hint at the Tuscan side while spiced cassis and plum point to Napa. The palate is decidedly New World, surprisingly ripe and full-bodied, with chocolate and coffee coating the darker berries. With a lush mouthfeel, with finely grained tannins coating the long-punctuated finish, offering elegance. Shows the oomph to pair with grilled steaks, it’d also sing with cheese and charcuterie.
Robert Parker has historically been a fan of these wines, and a recent Wine Advocate writeup confirms the continuity; “One of the pioneers of Pritchard Hill, David Arthur Vineyards has been turning out great wines for several decades or more. I was deeply impressed with the wines… Nile Zacherle has done a brilliant job with these new and upcoming releases. The David Arthur style is all about richness without excess heaviness.”
When David Arthur Long made Pritchard Hill home in the early 1980s, it was scarcely planted. Today, every wealthy investor is trying to hunt down a piece of this dirt as being here guarantees both stupendous wines and stupendous prices that every collector in the world is ready to pay up year in year out. That’s why Cabernet is king here as it can easily justify this phenomenon. We must thank the Sangiovese in Meritaggio for its irresistible appeal and this irresistible deal. More for those of us in the know, pile up quietly!
Here is what the wine press has to say:
92 Points – James Suckling - “Beautiful spices, tobacco and currants. Full-bodied, firm and silky with a tangy finish. Juicy and delicious. Candied cherries and light chocolate. Drink or hold.”
91 Points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous - “Winemaker Nile Zacherle crafts some of the most elegant, polished Cabernets readers will taste on Pritchard Hill. As good as the wines are, they would almost certainly be even better if the estate took a few more risks. Today, the wines are almost always outstanding. The 2015 Meritaggio Estate is rich, ample and layered. Although the percentage of Sangiovese is back up in the 50% range, the inherent intensity and pure power of the vintage dominate. This is an unusually dark, almost inky Meritaggio. Red cherry, plum and unctuous, silky finish.”
A lively translucent ruby core is surrounded by a gentle, gradually fading garnet cloak.
Cherries and herbs hint at the Tuscan side while spiced cassis and plum point to Napa.
Surprisingly ripe and full-bodied, with chocolate and coffee coating the darker berries.
Lush, with finely grained tannins coating the long-punctuated finish, offering elegance.
Shows the oomph to pair with grilled steaks, it’d also sing with cheese and charcuterie.
What the Winery Says
2015 'Meritaggio' Napa Valley Red
- Nile Zacherle
- 44% Sangiovese, 29% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc
- Pritchard Hill, Napa Valley
- Harvest dates
- September 9-29, 2015
- 23 months
- 35% new French oak