Larkmead Vineyards Red Bordeaux Blend Napa Valley Firebelle 2005
Deep ruby-red color. Highly aromatic nose of bright cherry, redcurrant and flowers darkens to sweet blackberry, licorice and dried herbs with aeration. The palate opens with spicy red licorice and cola notes then unfolds and broadens to feature typical Larkmead flavors of cassis and black cherry with an elegant underpinning of stony minerality. The tannins are long and elegant and bring forth a smoky cedar/mocha finish. The product of an unusually long and cool growing season, we can admire the intriguing aromatic complexity and subtle nuance that these growing conditions, in tandem with our rocky upper-valley site, conferred on this bottling. In strong contrast to the voluptuous, warm-season 2004 release, the new vintage features an array of ‘cooler’ Bordeaux-like red and black fruits with tobacco and underbrush complexity, and as such is more soil- than fruit-driven. An increase in the concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon component and the introduction of a small amount of nuanced Cabernet Franc, both darkens and enlivens the spicy red fruit nature of the dominant Merlot. The wine’s inherent balance of site, fruit and structural elements offers natural development potential of four to six years in bottle.
Ruby color. Lovely oaked nose. Dark black fruit flavors. Medium body, tannin and acidity. The balance is perfect. It's blackberries and oak and a bunch more and I love it.
This bottle had been open 24 hours by the time I tried it. However, I love this wine, it just really brings out the best of a California cab based blend: the menthol, eucalyptus and minerality are evident. This wine's still young, so 24 hours gives it time to open. The fruit was a bit muted after this length of time, but the tannins had relaxed. It really needs another 6-9 months or longer. Its a complex blend, still a little hot on the nose, but as i said, give it time in bottle.
External Reviews for Larkmead Vineyards Red Bordeaux Blend Napa Valley Firebelle
The 2005 Firebelle, a blend of 48% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, has a Bordeaux-like personality in this vintage. Revealing some spicy black cherry and cedary notes intermixed with some forest floor and