Melka and Nicolas Morlet Protégé’s Stunning Reserve
Simply put, Britt Nichols’ 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is one of the finest wines she’s ever made. Following its initial release, Wine Access clients confirmed as much, doling out 113 4- and 5-star ratings. We weren’t surprised given the provenance of the deeply flavored, purple/black Cabernet Sauvignon that Britt used here. The fruit was estate grown at two of Napa’s greatest wineries, both of whose 2014s earned major accolades from Robert Parker. The first estate pulled down over six ratings between 93-98 points, while the second released three Cabernets, all rated 92 or above. Suffice it to say, at $28 per bottle this wine massively over-delivers on price. Tasted in a lineup of $75+ Cabernets, Britt’s 2014 is right at home, boasting intoxicating aromas of black raspberry, ripe currant, mocha, and violet, while offering up blackberry and black cherry preserves laced with well-integrated oak on the palate. At just $28 per bottle we don’t recommend procrastinating.
To understand where Britt Nichols developed her deft touch with Cabernet Sauvignon one only needs to look at her resume. After a stint at Jordan Winery, Nichols landed one of the most sought-after positions in the valley, working under Nicolas Morlet at Peter Michael, assisting in the making of the 2010 “Les Pavots.” A year later, Britt was recruited by Philippe Melka, the Bordeaux émigré whom Robert Parker named “one of the nine most influential winemaker consultants in the world.”
The Cabernet Sauvignons of Jordan, Peter Michael, and Philippe Melka are very much cut from the same cloth. All are deep in color, rich, and intensely concentrated. Yet unlike all too many Napa Valley Cabernets, these are also wines of great class, sleekness, and polish. In her first releases from the 2012 vintage, and even more so with her stunning 2013s, Nichols quickly proved that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. Now with her stunning 2014 Reserve Britt has eclipsed her prior releases and then some. Powerful, fresh, and incredibly finessed, the 2014 Reserve will have you reaching for a second bottle — and at $28, there’s no reason not to.