Rather light and clear with a definite tinge of rust spreading out to the rim. Gorgeous nose, packed with rich cherry, creme de cassis and amaretto. Thick hide and savory yogurt grant a fermented edge to the roundness, sweet decadence buried beneath the twang of the blend. Peppery and structured, the suppleness of Merlot offset by the brilliance of Cab-Franc and a touch of fleshy Bec.

Tasting it is a dark meander down bitter, sultry streets. The berry burst benefits from substantial green-brier and plentiful acid, making the mouthfeel sharp and spicy while definite reminders of age knock at the door. But copious tertiary is several years away, and the whole package is one of the most Right-Bank examples I have tasted recently from California. It’s exactly where an equally-priced BDX would be, the ache and rasp of structure compelling a constant search for fruit. Light, balanced and un-fading–neither alcoholic, oaky or overtly concentrated–an angry peach-pit pith grating on the nerves of all things Merlot for an absolute *check* in the WIN box. Tannin an un-tamed roily monster, complicating–and challenging–the solid fruit and construction far into the finish.

Blind, I would definitely pick Lussac or Lalande or 2nd-growth producers from a fine vintage, and it has the chops for another decade of careful watching. If you can find it I highly recommend it. This is NOT your average California meritage. This is done impeccably.

2010 BUTTONWOOD ‘Trevin’ Estate ME/CF/Cab/Bec 49/27/19/5 Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara Co. 14.0


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