Ok, the 2008 Franciscan Estate Magnificat Meritage is not anywhere near cheap, it lists for $50, but sometimes, a big Napa wine is called for and the Magnificat Meritage is actually well priced for a Oakville AVA, Napa wine. The Franciscan Estate winery is just down the road from Silver Oak, Opus One and Groth. The Magnificat blend is 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec sourced from Estate vineyards and a couple of other Oakville vineyards (this is a high rent area, there are no bad vineyards here). This is the 24th vintage of the Magnificat (named after a rocking Mozart tune, my favorite Mozart number is actually Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, he wrote it when he was 5, what did you do at 5?) Meritage, this is a wine with some history behind it. Aged in French oak barrels for 20 months, 70% new barrels, this is a wine that can cellared for at least 10 years, I don’t have a cellar so I drank it now. The alcohol content is 14.5%.
The color is inky and extracted, the red is so dark that it is almost black. The nose shows the oak, vanilla, oak spice, blackberry, chocolate, slightly smokey and spicy. The full bodied wine with a rich mouthfeel. It tastes of blackberry, Godiva truffle chocolate, plum and raisin spice. The mid palate shows a slight bite from the tannins along with orange zest and butterscotch coated blueberries. This is a big and bold wine, nothing wimpy here. There is a dry sensation in the back of your throat from the oak, this is a wine with a lot of life left, it drinks fine now, but probably even better in 5 years. The tannins a strong, but well integrated, the acidity is right in the pocket, too. The finish is like the body of the wine, big and bold.
So, you have good friends coming over, friends that you have not seen for too long of a time, this is a special occasion. You head out to buy provisions for your meal, the specialty butcher shop and then the high end wine shop. The sticker shock from the aged steaks you just picked up, cause you to rethink your wine purchase, you don’t want a $100 wine, but something that tastes like a $100 wine. This is where the Franciscan Estates Magnificat Meritage comes in, this is a wonderful example of a big Napa Valley Red wine, you can pay $100 for the Napa Valley experience or you can spend $50 and get the same quality, this is a wine that can only be from one place, Napa Valley, experience. Yes, fifty bucks for one bottle of wine is not cheap or even practical, me, I will drink under $20 dollar wine every day of the year, but sometimes good friends are well worth a $50 bottle.