St. Clement 1997 Merlot (Napa Valley)

From this old-line St. Helena winery comes a young, tight Merlot. Almost inaccessible now, but plenty of airing reveals currant, anise-scented berry fruit and, of course, expensive French oak. Somewhat closed, with blustery tannins, but there's a solid core of ripe berry-cherry fruit that augurs well. A candidate for the cellar. Try after 2003.

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