2008 Larkmead Firebelle Proprietary Blend
100% Estate grown fruit produced and bottled at Larkmead Vineyards
55% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon & 18% Malbec
Aged for 18 months in 50% new medium toast French oak barrels from Tonnelleries Bossuet & Ermitage
1,040 cases produced
"Good deep ruby red color; immediate wild berry and brambly fruit aromas with a subtle grassy, iron-like edge. With aeration roast meat, sweet licorice and tobacco notes emerge. Tangy cola and redcurrant palate entry, then a darker blackcurrant-black raspberry core with a bittersweet chocolate accent. A broad, layered texture comes forth with time in the glass, supported by rich, round tannins. Lively fresh acidity picks up the finish with a hint of aromatic thyme and lingering berry sweetness. Expect five to eight years of developing complexity in bottle and decant for an hour in the first year following release.
Our latest 'Firebelle' bottling continues the dominant 2008 vintage theme favoring vineyard complexity over straightforward fruitiness. This is a complex, fully integrated and multi-faceted wine that is quite Bordeaux like in its earthy-savory character, placing a strong emphasis on site driven nuance. There remains plenty of ripe Californian fruit sweetness but it is enveloped in and dominated by Larkmead's classic mineral-herb signature, which particularly comes to the fore in this early harvest vintage year. It's a tremendously nuanced wine and I expect you will discover many different aromas and flavors as it sits and develops in the glass. It nicely contrasts the more forward and fruitier 2007 and upcoming 2009 sibling vintages."
— Andy Smith, Winemaker
Robert Parker - 94 POINTS, Wine Advocate, 12-23-10, Issue 192
"The 2008 Firebelle exhibits a dense opaque purple color as well as a sweet bouquet of creme de cassis, white chocolate and cocoa, great fruit, purity and intensity, a full-bodied, layered mouthfeel and elegance and finesse. Already evolved, complex and delicious, it should continue to drink well for a decade or more. This is an estate where the 2008 may actually eclipse the 2007."