2016 Ehlers Estate Portrait Red St Helena
The husband-and-wife team of Jean and Sylviane Leducq discovered the lure of this idyllic spot in the heart of the Napa Valley. French entrepreneurs and philanthropists Jean and Sylviane saw the potential for this region to produce wines with the power, balance, and structure of the finest Bordeaux bottlings they knew and loved. Over several decades they patiently built a contiguous wine estate – common for French chateaux but increasingly rare in California. By the turn of the century, they had created the 42-acre estate. The 21st century began with the release of the very first vintage from the Leducqs' new Ehlers Estate.
The 2016 Ehlers Estate Portrait is a blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Cabernet Franc, 28% Merlot in 40% new French oak. In the glass the color is dark ruby, medium to full bodied with aromas of cassis, stone fruit, plum and ripe cherry, currant, and whiff of smokiness. The wine is nicely structured, precise, with tannins that are dense but silky which carry all the way through to a lengthy finish of fresh minerality, the right amount of acidity to give a mouthfeel that is full, vibrant, and complex. With some time in the bottle, the Ehlers should age well for years to come. Impressive!
By Perry Miroballi