Côtes de Ciel 2012 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Flagship Reserve Red Wine, Red Mountain, $49
The Holmes family produced 53 barrels of wine from the inaugural 2012 vintage for its Côtes de Ciel brand. Of the top 12 barrels, they selected six for this Meritage-style blend of Merlot (50%), Cabernet Sauvignon (33%) and Cabernet Franc. These six were all new French oak, and the 22 months in them leads to sweet oak aromas of vanilla and chocolate that pick up elderberry, slate and white pepper. Those opulent barrel notes continue across the palate, which is home to broad, yet fine-grained tannins, backed by black cherry, cola and juicy blueberry acidity.
Production: 144 cases