The 2006 Transformation opens with the generous aromas of a blackberry bramble and a fine chocolate. The texture makes an immediate impression with the broad and supple tannins extending from the entry to the finish. Yet, this wine retains a youthful edge that promises longevity. The Merlot currently dominates within this blend with a very rich sensation at the mid-palate. When tasting grapes at the Jaffe Vineyard, the Cabernet provides a big entry which then proceeds across the palate in an elegant progression of flavor and texture. In contrast, the Merlot adds to this with an intensity of ripeness and weight that amplifies the mid-palate and finish. As a result, this is a big wine that will impress with its accessibility. The chocolate-coated cherry flavor that is classic for the ripe Merlot of Napa is balanced in this blend with the crisp, red currant and raspberry of the Cabernet Sauvignon. The finish is extended with the warmth of cocoa and vanilla. This is a thoroughly contemporary bottling that demonstrates why Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon marry so well. While one grape variety presses the limits, the other offers a refreshing and savory vibrance that brings balance to this blend.
The 2006 harvest finished in early November and will go down as a 'grower's year' as vintners were faced with a variety of challenges from New Year flooding to wet weather that continued late into spring delaying budbreak. By early June, the sun came out and vines began to bloom and set fruit. Mid-July presented a record-setting ten day heat wave, but the canopy had not yet been thinned because of the delayed season and young clusters were shaded from the hot sun. Somewhat cooler weather arrived in August and continued throughout harvest, allowing for moderately paced and deliberate ripening and a long harvest period. Cool weather dominated early October, with rain coming in the first week, but the white varieties were in and this presented no damage to the black varieties still on the vine.