Just as I hoped and suspected, the 2015 new releases from Larkmead are exceptional and upon release, expressive and impressive. I tasted their Napa Valley Cabernet, Firebelle Red and LMV Salon Red two weeks ago and could not get enough of them. Seriously, they are a knockout. Winemaker Dan Petroski says it best when he refers to this estate vineyard as a "soil snapshot of the entire Napa Valley". This is one of the most beautiful properties and vineyards in the valley and Dan successfully brings the nuance of their land into each offering.
"Lighter color, restrained fruit, and a savory finish are the hallmarks of this year’s Firebelle. Some of the characteristics of the warm vintage are apparent in this Merlot-dominant wine, such as the aromas of roasted meats and the flavors of ripe black and blue plums. But even so, we feel the wine is still reflective of the loam and clay soils in which its grapes were grown.
Scents of plum skin greet the nose and are met again on the palate. The same is true of the cocoa and coffee that linger on the finish. These aromas are present, certainly, but remain somewhat compact; they need both air and time to unravel and truly come alive. This particular Firebelle is a complex wine that may appear reticent at first, but with time in the glass becomes supple and expressive. In the finish, youthful tannins blanket the mouth, crying out for food." - Dan Petroski