A shining example of Domaine A founder Peter Althaus’s approach to making merlot: only the finest batches of fruit make it into a single-variety release. On tasting the batches in 2018, Peter and winemaker Conor chose some standouts showing ‘smooth tannin, great depth—without being over-extracted—and complexity of fruit and savoury characters.’ The end product fits the bill, with great fruit presence (think rich bramble, spiced rose, cherry cola, blueberry compote and sarsaparilla) balanced against drying tannins and some light, spicy oak presence.
A really impressive, classically formed merlot from Domaine A that shows complexity and a real sense of comfort and familiarity, akin to slipping into your favourite armchair. Plum, blackberry and blackcurrant fruits with layers of fine spice, bramble, tobacco, blueberry pie, cedar, purple floral top notes, sarsaparilla and vanilla bean. There is a smooth, velvet-like palate flow with powdery tannins and a long, oak-spiced finish showing great persistence.
—Dave Brookes, Halliday Wine Companion (93 points)