Passionnement Napa Cabernet
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Morlet’s 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Passionnement offers up sweet red cherries, flowers, licorice and sweet spices that all meld together in this subtle, delicate wine. A lovely center of minerality gives the wine its poise. Passionnement is a selection of Morlet’s best barrels from fruit sourced in Oakville (To Kalon, Missouri Hopper) and Knights Valley, but I often feel that something is lost in that selection process. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029. Luc and Jodie Morlet’s 2010s are off the charts. The 2010s have huge structure, but the fruit is so ripe and voluptuous in these wines that the perception of tannin is often imperceptible. The 2009s, on the other hand, are made from grapes that weren’t as physiologically ripe, so the tannins remain firm and in need of time in bottle to soften. As good as the Morlet range is, the most exciting wine appears to be the Morlet Estate, from a vineyard in St. Helena the Morlets purchased a few years ago.
Robert Parker 93
Run, don’t walk – take your checkbook or credit card out and splurge for the Luc Morlet Wine Express. Morlet, who comes from a family of winemakers in Champagne and consults at the Peter Michael Winery where his brother Nicolas is in charge of the winemaking, has his own operation on Route 29 north of St. Helena. His Napa cuvées were reviewed in Issue #215. His Sonoma offerings are remarkable wines that are about as good as wines made from Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah can be. Morlet is not only a fabulous winemaking talent, he knows how to bring the French savoir faire of complexity, elegance and precision to the ripe, concentrated, intense fruit of California.