2002 Amuse Bouche Napa Valley Merlot
Production of the inaugural vintage of Amuse Bouche wine was limited to 3,000 bottles. The Napa Valley Merlot grapes were harvested on September 18, 2002 at optimum brix levels (rootstock 101-14/clone 6) from their 3-acre block. The Amuse Bouche wine shows remarkable structure and suppleness through fermentation, with aromas and flavors of black tea, currants, raspberries and anise. The Cabernet Franc grapes, from 20-year-old hillside vines in Oakville, California, were picked on October 3, 2002 and have joined the Merlot grapes aging in a variety of French oak cooperage.
As further indication of the pure art form of Amuse Bouche Napa Valley Merlot wine, Guy Buffet. The 2002 artwork is an abstract that depicts the many-layered joys of wine and food as an integral part of our lives.
"Primarily Merlot blended with a small amount of Cabernet Franc, Amuse Bouche's Merlot is packaged in a heavy, artisanal bottle displaying the artwork of Guy Buffet on the label. It is a classic, high quality Merlot with an opaque ruby/purple color as well as notes of sweet cherries, Asian plum sauce, and hints of camphor and ink. The fragrant aromatics are followed by a medium to full-bodied wine revealing gorgeous fruit, purity, glycerin and texture. This 2002 appears to have hit full maturity and should drink well for another decade given its level of concentration and balance." - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate #201, June 2012
"A blend of merlot and cabernet franc. Bright ruby-red. Aromas of bitter cherry, plum, licorice, dark chocolate, tobacco and smoke. Juicy, sappy and fruity, with dark berry, mineral, licorice, tobacco and fresh herb flavors enlivened by harmonious acidity. Vibrant and light on its feet. Elegant, flavorful wine, finishing with fine tannins and lovely verve." - "Best New Releases from California", Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, January 2005
"Ultraripe and showy, with juicy wild berry, blackberry and currant flavors that are complex and concentrated, with a tight focus and a long, lingering aftertaste. Not shy about the use of toasty oak, which folds in nicely. A touch of heat on the finish underscores the ripeness, and it has ample tannins. Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2005 through 2012." - Wine Spectator, May 2004