2010 Larkmead Firebelle Proprietary Blend

Winemaker Notes

100% Estate grown fruit produced and bottled at Larkmead Vineyards
42% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon,13% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot, & 3% Cabernet Franc
Aged for 20 months in 49% new French oak barrels
1,602 cases produced

"Dark ruby red color. Warm, inviting aromas that are quite savory – plum, cedar, aromatic spices, tobacco, deeper floral notes, an edge of iron and tea leaf. Immediately dense and penetrating palate quite bound up in its youthful structure – roasted meat flavors that open to cola, black cherry and a lovely inner mouth floral perfume alongside complex herbal elements. Generous velvety texture develops with layered red and black fruits, spicy licorice and soy. Turns succulent and creamy with further air. Finishes with granular tannins and telltale fresh acidity with a lingering note of fragrant lilies.

Our new 2010 Firebelle release is a really intriguing wine. At this early stage it's far less fruit–driven than its 2009 predecessor, relying more on its vineyard signature and cool–season earthiness than primary fruit flavors alone. In this regard it's more akin to the 2005 and 2008 vintages. It's a complete wine that is full, rich and beautifully balanced where the multitude of individual aromas and flavors are nicely integrated and harmonious. It's quite different in flavor to our 2010 Estate Cabernet but very similar in build with an emphasis on savory elements and a layering of subtle nuances that develop the richness and complexity.

A lower amount of Merlot coupled with the cool 2010 growing season lend an earthiness and youthful structure to the wine so that some patience is required before opening. Decanting for an hour or two in the first couple of years following release will allow the wine's rich extract to fully develop. Cellaring for ten to twelve years is quite realistic and will allow the sweeter tertiary elements to come to the fore."

Antonio Galloni — 94 POINTS, The Wine Advocate, 12-27-12, Issue 204

"The Merlot-based 2010 Proprietary Red Wine Firebelle boasts stunning depth, power and richness. Black cherries, chocolate, spices and new leather explode from the glass in this deep, resonant wine. There is more than enough fruit to fill out the wine's big, broad-shouldered frame. This is an especially structured vintage for the Firebelle, partly because the Merlot is the lowest ever. Winemaker Andy Smith did a lot of co-ferments with the 2010 to bring all of the elements together."

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