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Wine: Métisse a Sublime (and Pricy) Taste of Napa

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MetisseMelka Winery Métisse 2006

Fact: A sushi bar might be the last place you’d expect to be enjoying a bold Napa Valley proprietary red wine.  But I was at Godai, where the proprietor, Goro Pitchford, not only has a good wine list but now and then brings out a taste of something special.

While I don’t seek out big, expensive proprietary reds from California, as a rule, I don’t turn down something another wine lover is excited about, either.  This wine was Melka Winery’s 2006 Métisse, a proprietary blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petite verdot from the Napa County region. (Online vendors still have it in stock; the prices are around $110.)

The nose gives you more than a hint of the rich,  complex fruit flavors to come. The color is a deep, dense purple-tinged red. This is a powerful wine, with flavors of chocolate, dark plums, black raspberries and something floral, perhaps lilac or violet. The oak does not overpower; the tannins, while certainly present and providing the needed structure in such an intense young wine, are smooth and restrained.

Feeling: I was having a teriyaki rib-eye, so the wine and steak did not argue. But I found myself pushing away the plate to just enjoy the wine. If I were to invest some money to buy this wine by the bottle, I’d buy two; one to enjoy now and another to enjoy, say, 10-15 years from now. The Métisse 2006  should age beautifully.

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