Allegretto is a single-vineyard Okanagan Valley merlot with great intentions, to play at a pace slower than allegro but faster than andante, with interdiction and also grace. You really need to mull over this merlot with great concentration because there is a marker in the sand, as there has to be with merlot. “No one sees it ’cause the sand has covered over all the messages it kept, misunderstanding, what original truth was and out expanding.” On one side it is a pearl, of phenols ripe and so very happy. On the other there is massive concentration, extraction and a density as if it were jam. Where the marker might be there is savour, umami even, unheard, heralded or here ushered from sandy soil and ungrafted vines growing of their own volition. But it is these vines, their grapes and the deft hand of the maker that seem to know what it is that needs to be heard. La Stella’s merlot finds a lightness of being within its quick tempo, in other words it’s a beautifully balanced big red. “With the living, let, what is living, love.” Drink 2017-2022.