2015 represented the fourth year of California drought, replicating conditions of the mid-1970s. Some of those '70s vintages remain legendary for their classic structural core, likely a function of drought-induced small berry size, yielding exceptional longevity and freshness. The 2012 to 2015 vintages are playing out much the same. Though different in character, these four vintages share a depth of concentration, fresh fruit expression and tightly woven inner core.
Where the 2015 vintage distinguishes itself is in a greater level of saturated fruit expression. The 2015 wines are dense in color and mouth coating in texture. They possess more lush fruit than the 2013s and greater depth than the 2014s. As Winemaker Tony Biagi notes, "2015 is right behind 2013 in terms of quality. The previous three years of drought, coupled with a weak El Niño year with its dry spring, summer and early fall, has produced opulent, full throttle wines. The vintage reminds me of 2008, which also delivered opulent, forward wines."
The 2015 Merlot Blueline Estate is 82% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot and Malbec. This is a big jump up from the 2014 - a sexy lush fruit bomb with plenty of white chocolate, espresso bean, background oak and loads of black cherry and blackcurrant fruit with a nice chocolaty edge. This is a sexy beast to drink over the next 10+ years.