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2014 En Passant Merlot Magnum

2014 En Passant Merlot Magnum
2014 En Passant Merlot Magnum

Winemaker Notes: This 2014 En Passant is a very elegantly styled merlot. This is not a wine of power but rather of nuanced delicacy. The bouquet is riveting, notes of crushed stones, red plum, rose petal, lead pencil, and gravel. On the palate, there is a great combination of vibrancy, suppleness, and texture. Notes of red plum, black raspberry, aged cigar tobacco, nutmeg, sage, leather, incense, and licorice on the palate give way to a precise, long finish, echoing tones of red plum, dried herbs, and rose petal. Substantial fruit but perfectly balanced with the crisp acidity and underlying silky tannic structure. Properly cellared, this wine should hit maturity in 6-8 years and gracefully evolve for 15+ years. 

Fermentation: The wine had a pre-fermentation maceration of 141 hours and post-fermentation maceration of 96 hours. 100% Native fermentation. The wine was punched down by hand 2 times each day during maceration and fermentation. All individual wine components, including free run and press fractions, were kept separate until final blending.

Cooperage: Elevage was 26 months in 60% new French oak and 40% neutral French oak. The wine achieved its sparkly brilliance from 4 judicious rackings, no fining agents were employed. The wine was very gently filtered using crossflow filtration. 

Magnums Produced: 180

Varietal100% Merlot
AppellationColumbia Valley
VineyardDuBrul Vineyard, Firethorn Vineyard, Bacchus Vineyard, XL Vineyard
Acid6.4g/L TA
Aging15+ years
Volume1.5 liter



95 Points


Released only in magnum, of which there's just 390 to go around, the 2014 Merlot En Passant is 100% Merlot, from Bacchus, DuBrul, Firethorn, and XL Vineyards, that spent 30 months in 60% new French oak. This beauty offers a smoky, black fruits, plum, lead pencil and chocolaty bouquet to go with medium to full-bodied richness, a silky, seamless texture, sweet fruit and a great finish. This beauty is all about elegance and finesse, yet still packs plenty of fruit. Give bottles 3-4 years of cellaring and enjoy over the following 10-15 years.

Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

95 Points


The 2014 ‘En Passant’ Merlot was primarily sourced from the DuBrul Vineyard and is only available in magnum format. The wine spent 30 months in 60% new French oak and 40% neutral French oak prior to bottling. This simply gorgeous Merlot wine opens with dense aromatics of black tea, black olive, cigar box, black cherry pie and Asian spices. The aroma range is just stunning. This leads to intense flavors of black cherry, cassis, Asian slices and coffee grounds. The mouthfeel is lovely and plush. This gorgeous Merlot wine really needs another year to settle but is impossible to resist right now. Drink 2018-2035.

Owen Bargreen, International Wine Report

91 Points

Oct. 2017

(Mostly from DuBrul Vineyard; 40% new oak; bottled entirely in magnums): Bright, medium ruby-red. Pungent, rather cool aromas of cassis, dark plum, raspberry, dusty spices and cocoa powder. Surprisingly structured and firm, with a touch of Bordeaux herbs adding nuance and an element of restraint to the wine's very pure Merlot fruit. Finishes dry and classic, with a firm tannic spine. Naravane told me he did more hedging here in 2014 and 2015 than in 2013, and that it paid off in slower sugar accumulation for the normally early-ripening Merlot (i.e., leaving fewer leaves results in reduced photosynthesis). A very structured, serious but juicy Merlot without any pruney character. Drinking Window: 2019 – 2026.

Stephen Tanzer , Vinous Media

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