The “Goldilocks” 2016 vintage was kind to this Merlot, sourced from the cool alluvial soils of the Oak Knoll district. Look for ripe sweet summer black plums here, with notes of raspberries, graham cracker, and sweet barbecue smoke too. Merlot is back in a big way, guided by powerhouses like this one!
If we were to pick just one Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon to blast into interstellar space for aliens to try when they stumble upon it someday, that wine would be Plumpjack Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville. In our view it is the most flavor-packed, complex, complete bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that you can buy, in pretty much every vintage. Plumpjack is in one posh neighborhood, with Screaming Eagle, Rudd, Bond St. Eden, and Dalla Valle all nearby. This is Oakville’s (and the Valley’s) absolute sweet spot, near the crossroads of Oakville Cross and Silverado Trail. Their Cabernets are absolutely spectacular, stuffed to the gills with ripe cherry fruit and red rose perfume—and very fairly priced compared to the neighbors.
Made from 96% Merlot and 4% Malbec that’s aging in mostly French oak (there 12% American oak), the 2016 Merlot offers up a forward, sexy, spice-filled style that’s going to drink nicely right out of the gate. Black cherries, red and black currants, toasted spice, vanilla bean and a touch of oak all give way to a medium to full-bodied, layered, ripe, balanced 2016 to drink over the coming 10-15 years.