The first vintage of Italian-inspired LaStella’s flagship Merlot, Maestoso comes from the “Lumeno” home vineyard directly on the northwest shore of Osoyoos Lake. There, 3.3 acres of lovingly tended Merlot grow alongside small amounts of Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscat. Harvested October 6 from a crop yielding just 1.2 tons/acre, 250 cases were produced by original Winemaker Daniel Bontorin after 16 months in barrel. I was very fortunate to have purchased this bottle from the winery’s library in April of 2012.
First impression on the nose brings to mind classic southern Okanagan olive character, with toasty cassis and hints of leather and burnt sugar. After ten years the sumptuously smooth, full bodied palate presents stunning intensity and integration. Blackberry, black cherries, dried blueberries and more intermingle alongside smoke and leather carried through from the nose. Acidity is ideally balanced, offering tangy contrast to the sensual richness of the fruit (and 15.3% alcohol). No surprise the finish is lengthy, with cocoa and ripe jam lingering lovingly. Drinking wonderfully at present, it could continue to age given the observed intensity and fruit focus.