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2016 Larkmead "Firebelle" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (Elsewhere $150)

SKU #1425761 96 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Attractive aromas and flavors of black olives and plums. Medium body, firm and silky tannins and a juicy finish. Nice, linear tannins. Turns chewy and muscular. Precise and focused. Give it some time. Inner quote mark (3/2019)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark Spiky dried herb, wood and cedar join an aromatic invitation of lavender in this lovely, powerful blend of 67% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot, all from the estate. Earthy and fresh in bright underlying acidity, it remains high-toned throughout, expressing currant, clove and cherry cola within well-integrated tannin and oak. Still, there's nothing wrong with cellaring. *Cellar Selection* (VB) Inner quote mark (11/2019)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Composed of 67% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Firebelle (White Label) has a seductive nose of spiced black berries, black forest cake, preserved plums and kirsch with touches of eucalyptus, espresso, licorice and dried herbs. Medium to full-bodied, the spiced black fruit flavors completely coat the palate with loads of mint and herbal sparks, framed by plush tannins and just enough freshness, finishing on a lingering aniseed note. (LPB) Inner quote mark (12/2018)

94 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2016 Firebelle is dense, pliant and super-expressive, with terrific depth and textural resonance. Today, the Firebelle shows more floral and savory notes than it did earlier in the year. Even so, the 2016 is vibrant, focused and full of character. The firm tannins need time to soften, but there is plenty to look forward to. (AG) Inner quote mark (12/2018)

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By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/2/2021 | Send Email
While not technically a varietal Merlot, at 67%, clearly that grape is in the driver’s seat here. Larkmead’s estate is a highly parcellated planting where vines are intricately matched with the different seams of soil that traverse the property. This is a wine that can match any Cabernet in the valley for power, intensity, and structure. The rich, decadent, mouth-filling texture is bridled by some serious tannin and wonderfully exotic oak. Red to black fruit mingles with loamy earth notes and woodsy spices. Lush mid-palate texture with tons of layers. Nice grip in the finish—decant for an hour if drinking before 2026.

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