2006 Larkmead Firebelle Proprietary Blend
100% Estate grown fruit at Larkmead Vineyards
55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec
Aged for 18 months in 45% new French oak barrels from Tonnelleries Bossuet & Remond
1,800 cases produced
"Good deep ruby red color. Combines a cool season Bordeaux-like nose of tar, damp-earth and game with Californian wild berry fruit aromas and complex rosehip and black tea nuances. The palate opens with cola and smoked meat flavors and is initially tight, dry and structured. With aeration, cassis, black cherry and tobacco notes emerge leading to a sweet mid-palate that is broad, textured and charming. Tannins are bold and mouth-coating and provide length and shape to the wine. Our most age-worthy Firebelle bottling yet, the 2006 will develop positively in bottle for between 5 and 8 years. Decant for an hour on release to allow the wine's mid-palate sweetness to fully emerge and buffer the youthful tannic frame.
Similar in style to our 2006 Estate Cabernet, the new Firebelle release is indicative of the long cool growing season we saw at Larkmead in this unique year. The fruit flavors lean toward the tertiary side of the spectrum - game, earth, etc - verses the pure opulent fruitiness of shorter/warmer growing seasons such as 2004. This gives the wine great Bordeaux-like complexity and ensures you have something special to enjoy when something with a little more subtlety is the answer."
— Andy Smith, Winemaker
Robert Parker - 91 POINTS, Wine Advocate, 12-31-08, Issue 180
"The 2006 Firebelle Proprietary Red (1,800 cases) is a blend of 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Malbec, aged 18 months on its lees. A beautiful nose of sweet black cherries, white chocolate, coffee beans, and subtle earthiness is followed by a full-bodied, powerful, moderately tannic wine that looks set for 10-15 years of aging. It is accessible already, with its terrific aromatics and plush, succulent style. It is also a fairly priced wine from one of the benchmark vineyards of Napa Valley."