The Aquilini family uses this new brand to pay tribute to the year – 1956 — patriarch Luigi Aquilini moved from Italy to Canada and began a new life that led to him receiving the Order of British Columbia in 2011. This is the youngest of seven wine brands under the Aquilini Beverage Group, and here’s a Right Bank Bordeaux-inspired assemblage of Merlot (40%), Cabernet Sauvignon (36%), Cabernet Franc (23%) and Petit Verdot which spent 22 months in a barrel program of 50% new French oak. The selection from estate plantings across Red Mountain is quite expressive from start to finish, opening with aromatics that hint early on at ripe Marionberry, plum jam and allspice, then a second pass brings along cherry licorice, leather, crushed brick and pencil shavings. There’s an early bite of Bing cherry that leads to fascinating textures of fine-grained frontal tannins akin to a crunch of blueberry seed. Juiciness on the midpalate brings a burst of black currant and finishing touches of cherry liqueur and a turn of a pepper mill.
Rating: Outstanding! — 93 points
Production: 848 cases