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2018 Mt. Brave Merlot


2018 Mt. Brave Merlot (Mt. Veeder)

On Sale: $84.94 (was: $94.94)*

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The Merlot revival is in full swing in Napa’s top AVA’s, and few winemakers have been as instrumental to raising its profile than Chris Carpenter. For years now Carpenter has been the secret weapon behind the Jackson Family’s top end labels, crafting world class Cabernet for Lakoya, Cardinale, and La Jota, earning a handful of 100pt scores in the process.

Recently we’ve been more than a little surprised by the equally impressive Merlots Carpenter has made, and this double 95pt 2018 Mt Brave proves it’s no fluke. Merlot may have different requirements vis-a-vis terroir than Cabernet, but one thing we’ve noticed is Napa’s mountain vineyards impart a common sense of depth, structure, and hidden elegance across all Bordeaux varieties. Carpenter is making “wines of true distinction that remain exceedingly fairly priced” (Vinous), and this is a wonderful chance to try this “pure, elegant, seamless” (Dunnuck) Merlot from one of Napa’s finest winemakers.

Mt Brave draws from two estate vineyards, the former Chateau Potelle property and Peak Vineyard, and the AVA’s well known volcanic soils are thin and shallow, atop an ancient seabed. The growing conditions yield intensely aromatic and deceptively structured juice, though Merlot’s natural qualities definitely make this 2018 “a charming, undeniably delicious” wine (Dunnuck). We honestly struggle to compare this to a Pomerol or Saint Emilion as Mount Veeder imparts such singular qualities, but at the end of the day it’s just another world class red from Chris Carpenter. Cheers!

95 points, Jeb Dunnuck: "Pretty, exotic candied orange and floral notes emerge from the 2018 Merlot, which is medium to full-bodied and has a juicy, elegant texture, moderate, nicely integrated tannins, and just a charming, undeniably delicious style. It builds nicely with time in the glass and shows the more pure, elegant, seamless profile of the vintage yet still brings plenty of fruit. It’s ideal for enjoying over the coming decade. Drink 2021-2031"

95 points, James Suckling: "Aromas of spices, such as cloves, dark berries and some herbs. Full-bodied and layered with chewy tannins and a savory finish. Juicy and flavorful."

*Offer publication date February 2, 2022. Pricing and availability subject to change.