Monday, January 12, 2015

Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Merlot 2002

Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Merlot 2002

We hold a mixed case of Bordeaux varietals from this producer, including a mini-vertical of Reserve Cabs, whom we've passed along Hwy 29 in South Napa Valley many times. It deserves a visit on one of our upcoming trips.

At twelve years of age, it is time to drink this in the coming year or so. Opened and tasted, then pumped and vacuum stoppered, and re-tasted a couple days later to reveal an evolving and improved, increased complexity tasting profile. It was a good accompaniment to beef steak and roasted potatoes, and then later with smoked Gouda cheese.

Dark ruby colored, medium bodied, aromatic berry fruits, tobacco and floral, complex medley of black berry fruits, tones of tobacco leaf, anise and hints of mocha and black tea. On second tasting a couple days later, there was a layer of sweet cognac on the mid-palate that was faint on initial opening but almost predominate later. Nice polished dusty tannins highlight the moderate smoky black berry,  tea and cognac layered finish.

RM 89 points.