2014 Maestoso “Solo” Merlot
Maestoso is the highest peak in the crescendo, that moment of majesty. It is our flagship wine and the jewel in the crown of LaStella.
In our continuing efforts to ensure that this already breathtaking and astoundingly rich wine is as complete and hedonistic as possible but still carry with it some restraint, we blended in 11% Merlot from our cooler Feuille d’Or vineyard in the Golden Mile to help lift the natural acidity and thanks to its poor, rocky and excellent drainage soil bring some grit and back of the palate tannins to the finished wine. Maestoso is always opaque in colour and 2014 is no different. On the nose one finds pronounced notes of salal berries, smoked meat, stella and lipin cherries and café mocha. Huge mouth coating, creamy, ripe tannins leads through to an astonishing finish lasting well over a minute. A monumental wine indeed.
Maestoso demands the best cut of meat available: a dry aged, grass-fed rib eye would be ideal. A simple preparation will let the wine speak to you and show you all that it has to offer.
Merlot is the number one planted red grape in BC. The majority are disappointing. Maestoso, “Solo”, aims to displace that thinking with this 100 percent merlot from the southern Okanagan. This is the top tier wine in the La Stella portfolio, and one of the priciest reds in BC at $90. Osoyoos and Golden Mile fruit, 17-22 years old, spend 8 months in French oak, 1/3 new, before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Savoury and dense, this barely yielding even after one day open, showing just inky cassis, thick tobacco, espresso on the structured, firm palate. Tannins are rigid, though finely wrought, and well positioned to house the brooding fruit. This is a wine for cellaring, and shows the real potential for classic merlot in the southern Okanagan. Can’t wait to try again in five years.
Treve Ring | Tasted: Sept 2017
Maestoso is one hundred percent merlot and the flagship red at La Stella. The style is a tip of the hat to the great Italian Masseto made by the Ornellaia folks. The blend of two vineyards, one in Osoyoos and one on the Golden Mile Bench is at the heart of this wine that while dense and structured is brimming with blueberries and Bing cherry fruit in 2014. The attack is spicy with more red and blue fruits, rich tannins and a warm smoky minty youthful tobacco back end. A T-bone steak would be the perfect match. The fruit comes off a mix of sites in Osoyoos Lake District and Golden Mile. It spends 18 months in 100 percent French oak barrels, 33 percent new, 56 percent second fill and 11 percent neutral oak.
Anthony Gismondi | Tasted: August 2017
This 100% “Solo” merlot weights in at 14.9% alcohol but it moves with poise and confidence nonetheless. The aromatics capture perfect wildberry/plummy fruit, raspberry seed, licorice, fine herbs and spices. It’s full bodied with impressive density, firm dusty tannin and a warm alcohol. Just a touch of south Okanagan herbality on the finish. The length and focus are excellent. Best 2019 to 2025
David Lawrason | Wine Align | Tasted: April 2017
La Stella’s “Maestoso”, a pure merlot and the winery’s flagship wine (“the reason we get out of bed”), has developed an admirable track record of consistent style, and it’s impressive. From vines now into their second decade, this 2014 continues in the line of dense, structured, complex wine. Clear your impressions of soft, plush, easy-drinking merlot – this is not that. Nearly 15% alcohol is cleverly disguised under a wash of black fruit; tannins are thick but velvety. This will need another 3-5 years at least to come around, but it will be a superb bottle. It’s in the running for one of the top merlots in the country to be sure.
John Szabo (MS) | Wine Align | Tasted: April 2017