The 2009 Firebelle is 53% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Franc. Dark red fruit, flowers, spices and licorice are some of the many notes that emerge from this impeccable, totally classy wine. It can be enjoyed now, but there is more than enough freshness to allow the wine to age gracefully for a number of years. Darker notes of tar and iron add considerable depth and muscle to the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021.
Larkmead is one of the historic estates in Napa Valley, with a rich lineage that goes back to 1895. The wines I tasted with proprietor Cam Baker and winemaker Andy Smith were all exceptional. Most importantly, though, these are highly individualistic wines loaded with true personality and class. Pricing remains exceedingly fair by Napa Valley standards, considering the quality of what is in the bottle.