Sunday, August 3, 2008

Close Pegase Merlot Mitsuko's Vineyard 2002

Napa Valley
14.4 alcohol

From the bottlenotes:

Clos Pegas assumes its name from the immortal Pegasus, the Winged Horse of Greek Mythology* whose thundering hooves unleashed the mythical Spring of the Muses, giving the rise to wine and art.

This offering from our Estate is composed of 99% merlot from Mitsuko's Vineyard in Carneros, tempered with 1% of Cabernet Franc from the Home Ranch* in Calistoga. The wine was aged 16 months in 35% new French oak, and expreses our dedication to both the craft of winemaking and the unique terroir of our vineyards.

Please visit Clos Pegase the next time you tour the Napa Valley.

*Their capital letters, not mine.

The color is gorgeous, deep inky-black purple with a garnet rim.

The blackcurrants in the nose might trick you, at first, into thinking it is a cabernet sauvignon. Keep your nose in it, though, and the aroma changes, aschocolate covered cherries and cream come out.

The palate is very plummy with blackcurrant up front, followed by raspberries and tobacco. Tannins are a little dusty but very soft. There is also plenty of acidic sharpness highlighting the fruit. The two together give this wine plenty of backbone, and six years into the vintage it still looks and tastes young and fresh.


The second night the aroma profile is the same, only softer. Blackcurrants are primary and a creaminess follows, plus some tobacco. The palate is far more black fruit than the night before, blackcurrant and plumskins, with blackberries. The tobacco influence of only 1% cabernet franc is interesting to me. Tannins are soft and fine. Acidity is not as sharp or bright as night one, but the two together give good balance to the fruit.

This is good wine, well balanced and rather textbook for merlot. It has a little life left in it, but not years. Based upon this two-day tasting, I would say it is a great candidate for short decanting and drinking now or drinking over the next two years.

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