Well. Well. Well. Malbec. It is that Labrador retriever who lives in your neighborhood and barks all the time only to discover he just loves everyone *that* much. Fairly difficult to farm, hard to watch ferment because of its awkward H2S spikes while the yeast knows full well, they are sitting on a massive pile of yeast assumable nitrogen. Then it finds the bottle and like a giant lap dog, sits on the palate so comfortably. The 2016 Malbec Amparo is 100% Malbec that spent 23 months in 40% new French. Blueberries and violets dance with a slight cranberry note and pillow oak tannins.
The 2016 Artist Series Paterson Blend is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Cabernet Franc, and 20% Merlot coming from the Columbia Valley and aged two years in 40% new oak. It offers more cherry and dark strawberry fruits, medium to full body, a juicy, lively texture, and a great finish. It shows the pretty, juicy, forward style of the vintage beautifully and will keep for 15+ years.
- Jeb Dunnuck
Dick Boushey knows how to farm Rhone varietals. Marsanne is a much more trustworthy version of their manic cousin, Viognier. The fermentation was a happy one and resulted in this happy round plush and satisfying wine. It is clean with a distinct hazelnut finish. If you find yourself with a nice shrimp trap and a boat, crack a fresh spot prawn on the boat and take a sip of Boushey Marsanne. Heavenly.
Made from 49% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 9% Petit Verdot, the 2016 Night Owl Estate Blend reveals a deep ruby/plum color as well as rocking notes of black cherries, spiced blackberries, dried herbs, and chocolate. It's ripe, fleshy, medium to full-bodied, and beautifully balanced, with a great finish. It’s another beautiful wine from Anna Schafer.
- Jeb Dunnuck
The flagship is the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Owl and Crown Estate, which has brilliant notes of crème de cassis, lead pencil, exotic flowers, and blood orange. Deep, concentrated, medium to full-bodied, and balanced, it's a beautiful, layered, lengthy Cabernet that will keep for 20+ years.
- Jeb Dunnuck
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Stephen Tanzer “Full medium ruby. Very dark aromas of blackberry, cassis, licorice, and violet. Densely packed and fine-grained, conveying a sexy subtle sweetness to its seriously intense flavors of currant and dark chocolate. This is more pliant and rich in the same state than the 2014 bottling and longer on the aftertaste, finishing with plush, integrated tannins, sneaky length and no impression of heaviness. The best Malbec to date from Anna Schafer, who worked for Paul Hobbs in Argentina in 2006 and 2007 before returning to her family’s estate which had been established in 2004. I’d like to have tasted this alongside the better Argentine Malbecs I sampled earlier this year.”
Offering an exotic, complex bouquet of lavender, wild herbs, loamy earth and both red and black fruits, the 2013 Red Wine Blend Night Owl (55% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc and 9% Petit Verdot) is medium-bodied, elegant, supple and finesse driven on the palate, with this darker, meaty, chocolaty, earthy core that comes out with additional time in glass. This is a sexy, forward effort that will nevertheless keep nicely for a decade given its purity and balance. Drink: 2016 – 2026.
- Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate, March 2016.
The 2014 Red Wine Blend Night Owl comes from the estate vineyards and is a blend of 43% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc and the balance Petit Verdot. Its deep purple/ruby-tinged color is followed by a terrific bouquet of cassis, ripe black cherries, licorice and wild herbs. Medium to full-bodied, supple and polished on the palate, with good acidity, it's another fabulous wine.
Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate, August 2017
This wine has come from the earth in all senses. It is as complex as photosynthesis itself. Don’t be fooled by its delicate color; it will swoon you with earth, fire and sea. There is a bright quality to the wine, but the dark flavors persist of burnt orange, dark fruit, rhubarb. There is a strong mineraility in the finish. Pair with meat braised in fennel and orange or a triple cream garnished with chutney.
Aromas of wet stone graphite, apple blossom open up to flavors of bright Asian pear, and bergamot citrus notes remain high in the palate and end with a slight note of hazelnut.
William Kelly of the Wine Advocate, “A blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc, the 2015 Artist Series Morris Blend reproduces on its label an oil painting by the American Abstract Impressionist painter Carl Morris. The wine offers up attractive aromas of crushed cassis, pencil shavings and toasted gingerbread, followed by a medium to full-bodied, velvety palate with a deep core of savory fruit and youthfully chewy structuring tannins. The finish is long and nicely delineated. This was my favorite of these offerings from àMaurice Cellars, and I'd expect it to reach its peak in the next decade.” 93+PTS
William Kelly, The Wine Advocate
Jeb Dunnuck, “The 2015 Night Owl checks in as a blend of 32% Merlot, 30% Petit Verdot, 26% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, all aged 23 months in 40% new French oak. It has a Saint Emilion-like style in its ripe red and black fruits, cedar pencil, dried earth, and spicy aromas and flavors. With medium to full-bodied richness, no hard edges, and ripe, present tannin, it's a beautiful wine from this team. It’s going to keep for a decade or more.” 94PTS
Jeb Dunnuck, 2018