201350Harvests2013 Scotto Cellars, 50 Harvests, Red Meritage, Napa Valley.
The richly flavored and medium full 50 Harvests is a really eager to please Cabernet Sauvignon based Napa Valley red wine that shows detail and elegance much in the same vein as Opus One’s Overture does, but at much nicer price. The Scotto’s brought in Napa legend Mitch Cosentino, formerly of his own Cosentino Winery and now pureCru Napa Valley to help with this flagship wine and the other Steele Canyon wines, and he and Paul Scotto have made a big difference in the textural feel and complexity of the wines, especially this 50 Harvests which is forward and chocolatey, but with graceful mouthfeel, deep layers and extremely pretty use of Cabernet Franc in the blend, which appears to have added spice and delicacy making for a superb combination, Cosentino is very well known as a master blender, he pretty much started the whole “Meritage” thing in 1986, so it is no surprise to see how stylish this wine is turning out. 2013 is looking stellar, and this 50 Harvests reflects that with a dense mouth feel, dark purple/garnet color and a parade of black and red fruits flowing across the palate with well judged oak shading, it starts with creme de cassis, loads of blackberry, plum and dark floral tones with clove, sweet tobacco leaf, minty/pepper, anise and vanilla. The tannins are very refined and natural acidity that comes through with subtle vibrancy make for a creamy smooth Meritage, it’s a wine you’ll want to enjoy young, best over the next 3 to 5 years, the wine is impressive, my only regret here would be that the label is not up to the quality in the bottle, I’d suggest an upgrade or an artist label that might change from year to year for the future bottlings for this wine.
($50 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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