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Amuse Bouche 2002

Posted by on September 29, 2016

amuse bouche 225x300 Amuse Bouche 2002Yes that’s me holding a 2002 Amuse Bouche that Christina bought for my birthday!  I don’t want to know what she paid…

I know what you’re going to say, and yes, I consumed a Merlot.  Ah, but this isn’t just any Merlot, Amuse Bouche (French words meaning “joy for the mouth coming from wine or food”) is Napa’s answer to Petrus and other big time Pomerol wines.  My good fortunes allowed me to consume the first vintage – 2002.

Heidi Barrett needs no introduction as the winemaker.  I find myself chasing her other wines like previous vintages of Revana, Screaming Eagle, etc.  She crafted this wine from select Merlot (95%) and Cabernet Franc (5%) from the best vines available in Napa.

I decanted and began the journey.  First note, the wine took on a tawny brownish-red color.  The nose didn’t reflect any port-like qualities, however.  Find deep red fruits with a hint of green pepper, plum, and soft tannin.

This wine changed quickly in the glass, coming with waves of different feels.  The first round gave a large fruit bomb which danced around the mouth.  The finish is as long as a kid’s wait for Christmas with velvety tannins and dark fruit.  Round two seemed to be the low point for the wine.  It felt as if it was breaking apart in the glass, but round three rescued it with a flatter, more smooth velvety flavor.  The wine stayed at this point for the rest of the bottle – quite nice, calm, cool and relaxed.

Amuse Bouche is a roller coaster of mouth feel.  It depends what part of the ride you like to fully enjoy the bottle.  I enjoyed the big fruit bomb up front and later like the return to a velvet glove for the finish.  This is one of the two best Merlot based wines I’ve tried (along with Verite La Muse).  It’s big and it’s costly, but it’s impressive!


T-Scale 93 points.  Cost ??  I really don’t want to know.


In late 2014, I bought two of the 2005 vintage Amuse Bouche bottles and received the bonus label art poster!  It is now framed and hanging near my cellar.  The 2005 didn’t perform quite as well as the 2002, but it was still a big winner.  Cost:  $90 per bottle, a screaming deal!

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