92 Points - JamesSuckling.com
“A soft, round red with lots of dark berries and chocolate, as well as hazelnut flavor. Medium body, lovely fruit and balance. 40% merlot, 30% petit sirah, 20% cabernet sauvignon and 10% malbec. Drink now.” - James Suckling
Reflective of the winery’s ability to combine power with elegance, the 2016 Investor is rich and expressive with blueberry, bramble berry, wild raspberry, prune and sweet baking spices, alongside intriguing notes of white pepper, camphor and tar, with touches of savory chaparral brush, like fresh mint and wild purple rose. Generous mouth pleasing chewy tannins envelop the palate finishing with juicy, mouthwatering acidity. Enjoyable now and can be cellared for 5-10 years.
The Investor is a red wine that beautifully blends together the unique flavors and expressions of Merlot, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, resulting in a powerful, yet approachable assemblage with significant fruit presence. The Merlot contributes fresh red berry aromatics and a soft, velvety texture to balance the power of Petite Sirah, which adds concentration, tannins, spice and blueberry flavors. The Cabernet Sauvignon further increases the final blend’s complexity and depth and the Malbec’s incredibly vibrant floral aromatics heighten the blend’s freshness. The majority of the Petite Sirah fruit comes from estate vineyards in Oakville, and additional fruit is sourced from a diverse selection of northern and southern Napa Valley vineyards to broaden the wine’s floral and spicy characteristics. The Merlot is grown on the Stags’ Leap estate in the heart of the Stags Leap District, and a selection of southern valley floor Cabernet Sauvignon fruit makes up the balance of the blend.
The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, right around Labor Day, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended mild season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Considered a perfect harvest and a winemaker’s dream vintage, conditions were perfect for producing wines with tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity
Maceration and fermentation followed suit for each of the varieties, which allowed winemaker Christophe Paubert to monitor and evaluate each lot individually, coaxing each varietal to its maximum potential. The wine aged in oak for 16 months - the Petite Sirah in American oak barrels (25% new) while the Bordeaux varieties go to French oak (35% new). The final assemblage was blended just prior to bottling.