- Producer: Amuse Bouche - read about the Estate
- Winemaker: Heidi Barrett
- Region (AVA): Napa (Napa Valley)
- Blend: 88% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc
- Vintage production: 750 cases
- Winery location: St Helena
- Owners: John Schwartz and Heidi Barrett
- First vintage: 2002
- Drinking window: 2020-2042
About The Estate:
Amuse Bouche, French for, "amusement for the mouth," is located in the St Helena AVA. Collectible wine and collectible art come together to create Amuse Bouche Napa Valley Red Blend, a joint wine venture with Heidi Barrett and John Schwartz. This Pomerol-style Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend is made from some of the best grape sources in the Napa Valley. Amuse Bouche wine aspires to rival its greatest cross-Atlantic counterparts, such as Chateau Petrus and Chateau Le Pin.
Heidi Barrett grew up in the Napa Valley in a winemaking family and was destined to become one of California's leading winemakers. In 1988, she became a freelance winemaker, making wine for a number of small wineries. Within a week she was hired by Gustav Dalla Valle and was winemaker at Dalla Valle Vineyards until spring 1996. It was there that she took her abilities to the next level creating some powerful yet elegant Cabernets, including the famous "Maya" cult wine, a proprietary Cabernet blend that received two perfect 100 point scores from Robert Parker (the '92 and '93) as well as record breaking bids at the Napa Valley Wine Auction.
She started making wine for Screaming Eagle in 1992, which has also received two perfect 100 point scores during her tenure (the '92 and '97 vintages). In 2002, Heidi partnered with longtime friend John Schwartz to create Amuse Bouche, a Pomerol-inspired Merlot from Napa Valley. A different artist is commissioned to produce the label for each vintage of Amuse Bouche, including the final work of Tony Curtis for the 2010 vintage.
Amuse Bouche Merlot 2016
"The medium garnet-purple colored 2016 Proprietary Red Blend Amuse Bouche sings of crushed red and black plums, black cherry compote, Ceylon tea, licorice and Indian spices with a waft of potpourri. The palate is medium to full-bodied, exquisitely elegant with firm yet satiny tannins, refreshing, perfumed, spicy and very long with savory notions coming through.”
95+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown (Oct. 2018)