2006 Larkmead Vineyards Firebelle

Red Bordeaux Blend

  • USA
  • California
  • Napa Valley

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Community Tasting Note

  • Jimaronson Likes this wine: 96 points

    May 24, 2019 - Had this wine tonight with rack of lamb. The wine was compared to 2000 Leoville Barton. The Larkmead took an hour more to open up, but developed into a medium to full bodied, silky, wine with strawberry and complex attributes. A thoroughly enjoyable wine, and although it did not have the graphite and pony barn of the Barton wine, the Larkmead held it's own in it's own way, and was truly delicious.

    It was the perfect comparison of French versus California. It's important to understand that the larkmead wine is not made like a typical young fruit forward cab. This was not a tasting to see whether one was better than the other. The comparison of the wines was really to see that each wine had perfection in its own way. The California cab could never be like the French Bordeaux. Vice versa, the Bordeaux could never be like the California cab. The Barton wine was so integrated and mature that it was not overwhelming. Neither was the larkmead super fruit forward without complexity. In the end, the group preferred the 2000 Barton over the 2006 larkmead because of the additional complexity, but that was only evident in the comparison in the wines and on their own they would have both rated similar scores.

    1 person found this helpful 393 views


  • gew71walsh commented:

    5/25/19, 4:04 AM - You reference the 2000 and 2003 Barton in this note. Which was it? Love the note in its comparison of Bordeaux v. California which gives each its due.

  • gew71walsh commented:

    5/25/19, 4:07 AM - You reference the 2000 and 2003 Barton in this note. Which was it? Love the note in its comparison of Bordeaux v. California which gives each its due.

  • Jimaronson commented:

    5/25/19, 5:11 AM - Sorry about the confusion. It was the 2000 Barton. I had first picked out the 2003 Cos and then must have put it back on the rack and chose the 2000 Barton instead. That is where the 2003 came from. I am glad I did this as I think the Cos would have been a step up from the Barton and made the comparison slightly more difficult. Next time I will run a side by side of the 2000 Barton and the 2003 Cos to see if I am right.

    But, this was about the California wine. Now that it is the next day I have more time to think. The Barton is a star of the vintage and as a Saint Julien has a soft style. It is predominantly cab, but perhaps 30% merlot. The Larkmead is predominantly merlot and perhaps 30% cab. In reviewing the pro’s comments it seems that the Larkmead drinks like a soft cab even with its merlot. So, this was really a great comparison with each wine in its prime drinking window. I do believe the Barton will remain in the window for 10 years and will take on some weight over time. Both wines were terrific. The Barton could be after 4 hours in the glass a 98 next year where it will remain. The Larkmead might remain a 96 for five years and the begin to fade.

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