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.
“This merlot-based red is really exciting with dark berries, dark chocolate and bark. Full-bodied, dense and layered. So serious and exciting. Merlot is great here. Drink in 2020.” –96 Points, James Suckling
“This blends 71% Merlot with 21% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petit Verdot. Earthy, it evokes wild truffle and fresh compost, with highlighted flavors of dark plum and cherry. Its soft silky texture is inviting and a complement to the gritty backbone of tannins, which though in check, are plenty powerful.” –94 Points, Wine Enthusiast
“The Merlot-dominated cuvee of the estate is the 2015 Firebelle and it checks in as 71% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot that spent 18 months in 65% new French oak. It offers a terrific bouquet of black cherries, leafy herbs, lavender, and dried violets, medium to full body, loads of minerality, and a fresh, focused, beautifully balanced style.” –93 Points, Jeb Dunnuck