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Monday, June 23, 2008

2002 Provenance Beckstoffer Las Amigas Vineyard Merlot

This is a beautiful example of why Merlot should be taken just as serious as Cabernet and I challenge anyone to try this wine and say it's lacking body, style, or complexity. It comes as no surprise that Tom Rinaldi is behind such a great effort and that this 100% Merlot shows such class and breathtaking beauty.

The aromas of this wine are what really do it for me and show off the purity of this single vineyard/single varietal effort. Big black cherry, sweet tobacco, tea leaf, coco butter, and some spice round out the powerful and expressive nose, while the flavors carry unto the palate showing dominant and ripe cherries, soft cedar, and firm but well balanced tannins. This wine has a very long finish and will only improve with extra bottle age and perhaps an hour or two in a decanter. I believe this to be the best Merlot I've tasted from California year to date and perhaps in the top five I have ever tasted. I score this wine 95 points.

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