This second vintage of this wine is a blend of approximately 50 percent Merlot, 30 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 20 percent Cabernet Franc, all grapes from the Lucia Abreu Vineyard up in Howell Mountain (adjacent to the famous La Jota Ranch) which is owned and planted by the well known viticulturist David Abreu.
After almost 40 days of maceration, the wine is transferred into new French oak barrels from coopers Taransaud and Sylvain, to undergo malolactic fermentation and 18 months of ageing.
Mark Aubert is known for making big and ripe wines, and there’s no change from that philosophy here – the wine boasts of super ripe, intense, sweet and lush fruit and an alcohol level of 15.8 percent. Is it too much? Well, many wine drinkers would say so, and I may agree with them, at least when the alcohol overwelms the fruit and burns. However, this wine it’s quite delicious, at least if serving it to a rich dish. At this stage, it's a bit closed, much due to the high proportion of firm tannins. There’s also a slight greenish bitterness (it taste like it comes from the oak), it doesn’t show too much of a mid palate and the oak is a bit to upfront. Since it was the first time I tasted this wine, and I had high hopes for it – one should have, it’s a David Abreu and Mark Aubert wines – I was at first a bit disappointed. I wanted it to give me more pleasure.
So, I left it in the decanter for almost four hours, and by then it had turned into something much more elegant and complex, but still without being so great I wished for. The final verdict at this young stage is that it is a good to very good wine, but taking into consideration where it’s from, who grows the grapes and who makes the wine, I ask for a little bit more than this. However, I look forward to taste future vintages, since I suspect things will be better over time.