The 2003 vintage was challenging in the vineyard with a seemingly endless march of warm weeks followed by cold weeks; the fruit was ripening then stalling. Vineyard crews who were on their game produced some wonderful wines. The 2003 Regusci Estate Merlot is starting to exhibit that wonderful aged wine patina, the magical balance of a maturing wine with fresh fruit and more intense dried, candied and preserved fruit notes. The color has a deep ruby intensity in the middle of the glass with a tinge of orange peel to the rim. The nose effuses tobacco, warm leather, sandalwood and herbal minty-ness. The palate has a silky weight with red currant, ripe fig, molasses, dark plum and a spicy white pepper. As the wine recedes on the palette, the finish resonates with dark chocolate, earth and raisins.