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Caldwell Vineyard A blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah, this wine is supple yet racy. The 1998 is the debut release from grower John Caldwell, who sells grapes to high-profile wineries.
Constant Melka has been making this Bordeaux-style blend since 1995. The 1998 is the current release. It's a dense yet elegant wine that's ready to drink now, but it can be cellared.
Lail Vineyards Melka has been making this wine since the first vintage, 1995. The latest release is the 1997. It's a charming, refined and deeply complex wine whose secret is its blend: approximately 60 percent Howell Mountain Cabernet and 40 percent Merlot from the valley floor.
Marston Vineyard The 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon (due out in September) is the debut release of this wine. The vineyard is on Spring Mountain near St. Helena. Beringer manages the vineyard and prizes it for the rich strength of its Cabernet.
Métisse This is Philippe Melka's own wine, a blend of grapes from Lail, Caldwell and other vineyards. Just released in March, the 1998 is supple and rich, with a hint of ripe tannins.
Quintessa Wine drinkers will have to wait a few years to judge Melka's influence on this wine. The 1999 will be his first release (the wine was first made in 1994). Melka says he "fell in love" with this vineyard in the heart of Rutherford.
Seavey Vineyard Set in the hills above Napa Valley, Seavey's low-yield vineyards produce robust wine. The 1998 Cabernet, to be released this fall, is still quite youthful, showing powerfully extracted blackberry fruit and meaty tannins.
Vineyard 29 Many collectors consider this a junior version of its neighbor, the sought-after Grace Family Cabernet. Heidi Barrett was the winemaker; Melka's first wine is the 1999.