2018 surely belongs in the ranks of top California vintages from the past two decades. The vintage was marked by ideal weather conditions from budbreak to harvest, which yielded balanced, layered, and structured wines, that will age for decades.
Replenishing winter rains and mild spring temperatures produced a late budbreak, followed by flawless flowering and fruit-set. The growing season that followed was long and relatively cool, encouraging slow and even ripening, allowing tannins to mature while retaining moderate sugar levels, and all-important acidity.
2018 La Muse radiates a deep ruby-violet color, which gives rise to perfumed aromas of ripe red and black plum, new leather, violet blossom, and freshly turned clay, framed by sweet baking spices and subtle toast. The palate mirrors the nose, along with a cornucopia of crunchy red and black fruits, dark baking cocoa, and sanguine iron elements. All of this complexity is supported by powdery tannins and bright acidity, driving to a very long, rich, and complex finish.
90% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec
A blend of 90% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec, the 2018 La Muse was matured 16 months in 100% new French oak barrels. Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the nose delivers a powerful perfume of cherry pie, blackberry preserves and baked plums, followed by suggestions of red roses, cast-iron pan, underbrush, and unsmoked cigars, plus wafts of licorice and oolong tea. Medium to full-bodied, the black fruit and exotic spice layers flow so gracefully over the palate, textured by plush tannins and lifted with seamless freshness, finishing epically long and achingly fragrant. The intensity and complexity of aromas and flavors—all waltzing in captivating harmony—cannot fail to make your head spin in the best possible way. Electrifying
Checking in as 90% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Malbec that was raised in new French oak, the 2018 La Muse reveals a dense purple hue to go with plenty of black cherry and currant fruits as well as cedar pencil, graphite, dark chocolate, and smoked tobacco. Ripe, full-bodied, and brilliantly balanced on the palate, with both elegance and incredible opulence, it's a hypothetical mix of Châteaux Canon and Lafite. This masterpiece of a Merlot can be drunk any time over the coming 20-30 years. Give bottles an hour in a decanter if drinking any time soon.
One of the most refined and tight Muses with blackberries, milk chocolate, pine needles and hints of dried herbs. Full-bodied, yet so in check with a great finish. It’s seamless and goes on and one. Intellectual, compared to past vintages. 90% merlot with some malbec and cabernet franc. Try after 2026, but attractive now.