2016 Ibex Vineyard Merlot - Smith Devereux Wines

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Spiced plum, burning tobacco, dark cherry compote. Brambly boysenberry, pepper flakes, strawberry cobbler. Star anise and cumin powder, bright violet and delicate carnations. Spicy and fragrant yet remarkably restrained fruit erupts on the bouquet, spilling seasoned raspberry and açaí with impressively lean purity. Cayenne and cinnamon candy emerge with a zesty kick calmed by vanilla bean, clay, and damp earth. Humidor muddles cleanly with roasted pepper to compliment tremendous nuance and lift, finishing off with a delicate dusting of soft cocoa powder. Serious, structured, and savory; sitting at medium plus in body, tannin, and acidity. This 2016 Ibex Vineyard Merlot by Smith Devereux Wines is a marvelously complex, balanced, and age-worthy red from Napa Valley.

Although in the past it has been unfairly maligned, Merlot has proven its potential to produce extremely interesting and compelling wine in regions all over the world. This bottling, crafted by Smith Devereux Wines using Merlot sourced from their estate Ibex Vineyard in St. Helena, is a remarkable example of the heights this variety can achieve when given the proper attention. This wine is extraordinarily spiced and complex, containing a soft yet restrained fruit profile that focuses on accentuating savory nuance in lieu of overripeness or extraction. It is perfectly balanced, wonderfully structured, and packed with layer after layer of subtlety begging to be discovered. A tremendous effort here and certainly one of the most impressive California Merlots we've experienced in memory.