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Larkmead 2015 Firebelle Red Blend Napa Valley
Larkmead 2015 Firebelle Red Blend Napa Valley
Larkmead 2015 Firebelle Red Blend Napa Valley

Lighter color, restrained fruit, and a savory finish are the hallmarks of this yearís Firebelle. Some of the characteristics of the warm vintage are apparent in this Merlot-dominant wine, such as the aromas of roasted meats and the flavors of ripe black and blue plums. But even so, we feel the wine is still reflective of the loam and clay soils in which its grapes were grown. Scents of plum skin greet the nose and are met again on the palate. The same is true of the cocoa and coffee that linger on the finish. These aromas are present, certainly, but remain somewhat compact; they need both air and time to unravel and truly come alive. This particular Firebelle is a complex wine that may appear reticent at first, but with time in the glass becomes supple and expressive. In the finish, youthful tannins blanket the mouth, crying out for food.

James Suckling - 96 Points: "This merlot-based red is really exciting with dark berries, dark chocolate and bark. Full-bodied, dense and layered. So serious and exciting. Merlot is great here. Drink in 2020."

Wine Enthusiast - 94 Points: "This blends 71% Merlot with 21% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petit Verdot. Earthy, it evokes wild truffle and fresh compost, with highlighted flavors of dark plum and cherry. Its soft silky texture is inviting and a complement to the gritty backbone of tannins, which though in check, are plenty powerful."

Jeb Dunnuck - 93 Points: "The Merlot-dominated cuvee of the estate is the 2015 Firebelle and it checks in as 71% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot that spent 18 months in 65% new French oak. It offers a terrific bouquet of black cherries, leafy herbs, lavender, and dried violets, medium to full body, loads of minerality, and a fresh, focused, beautifully balanced style."

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - 91+ Points: "A blend of 71% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petit Verdot, the 2015 Firebelle Proprietary Red opens with a deep garnet-purple color and baked plums, peppered salami and black forest cake-scented nose with dried herbs and tilled soil nuances. The medium to full-bodied palate is firm, chewy and muscular with earthy suggestions, just lacking a little expressiveness and depth at this stage. "

Wine Spectator - 90 Points: "This muscular red features dark fruit flavors that are backed by firm tannins and acidity. Savory notes show midpalate, with a finish of dark chocolate and mocha hints. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2021."




71% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot



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California Ė Napa Valley

Wine Advocate


Wine Enthusiast


Wine Spectator


James Suckling


Drinking Window

Part of Solariís signature is its seriousness of expression, from its classic warm climate flavors in the mouth that match step-for-step with its aroma profile, to its strength of structure that is built on the wineís momentum. This is a massive wine that drinks very quickly due to its inherent balance. This wine is about its ability to not only be bigger than everyone else, but also be as agile.

This agility is an incredible trait of the vineyard and the wine that trumps the conditions that Mother Nature provided in 2015. Please decant this wine in its youth, but consider cellaring this wine for at least two decades before seeing Solariís full potential.


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