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4 Cellars 2014 Merlot, Red Mountain, $30
Two of Red Mountain’s historic vineyards — Ciel du Cheval and Klipsun — as well as EFESTĒ’s Taylor Mag planting — make this John Freeman collaboration with Grammy Award-winning Little Big Town play out as a Merlot for the long haul. Of the 10 French oak barrels in this program, half of those were new, setting the stage for aromas of toasted coconut and roasted filberts, backed by blueberry juice and a sense of gaminess. It is deeply textured on the palate as blueberry and black cherry flavors are framed by assertive and age-worthy tannins, a package that’s actually fun to experience now, particularly if served alongside some beef brisket. This comes in Shipment Two of the 4 Cellars wine club, but a few of these wines also can be found in Total Wine & More.
Production: 250 cases