Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sattui Los Carneros Merlot

V. Sattui Winery
Los Carneros

Henry Ranch
Napa Valley
St. Helena, California, USA
$27.00 -- Sattui Winery, St. Helena, CA

Color: Dark garnet
Nose: Raspberries, vanilla
Body: Medium to Full
Front: Spicy ripe cherries
Middle: Chocolate cream, pickles
Back: Earthy tannins
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Cork

I'm going to take a political moment, for which I apologize up front. Sattui will soon be changing its label design, and I object. I look at this bottle, with its perfect label, all Napa baroqueness and charming pseudo-old-world-pretension, and I love it. It's perfect.  I'm not nostalgic (much): this is an aesthetic and political judgment. Usually I say, with Hafiz, that all things point to Allah--and if the redesign were as good as this label, I'd say, go for it! But not this time, on either account.

None of this imminent disappointment should distract from an appreciation of the stunning aromatics and rich flavors of this wine, which kicks most Merlots' asses, regardless of hemisphere of origin. It's probably drinking at its peak right now. With the pulled pork barbecue tonight, it was frankly stunning: like pork chocolate mousse.  If you find that description grossifyin', you need to be drinking things like this instead of this.