Suncé Winery & Vineyard, Winemaker’s Reserve Meritage 2002, Sonoma County, California
Tasting Note: I applaud the Meritage concept of the American, Bordeaux-styled red blend.
It’s hard to be authentically someone else, but this Meritage from Sunce nails it.
Medium-to-deep intensity ruby in color this wine has a nose of blackberry, black currant, and black cherry with hints of cedar.
On the palate the dry, full-bodied, Bordeaux-styled red blend reveals subtle blackberry and cassis, supported by silky, well-integrated, medium-plus tannin and cedar giving way to a long finish.
The wine exhibits structure and complexity coupled with balance.
Bottle Note: The image on the front is taken from a family photograph painted in old by Kika Godinovic, a local artist from winemaker Frane Francevic’s birthplace Sucuraj on the island of Hvar. The dramatic scene tells of Frane’s great-grandfather, a cooper and winemaker, carrying barrels of wine from Hvar to the Croatian mainland for sale in the marketplace circa 1920s; a centuries old family tradition.
This Winemaker Reserve blend is comprised of approximately 59% cabernet sauvignon, 17% cabernet franc, and 24% merlot. A low yield of 2-3 tons per acre produced very small berries and intense fruit. Each block contributes its unique qualities. The cabernet sauvignon asserts itself with ripe blackberries and cocoa bean essence; the cabernet franc brings in a medley of peppers, and the merlot delivers anise and mint flavors. This Meritage was aged for twenty-three months in French Oak and can be enjoyed now or for decades to come. Only 17 barrels made.
Price: Over $40
Tasting Date: January 22, 2017