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by Fred McMillin
for November 12, 1998

 

Firestone Grown


Prologue

1984 Firestone Merlot
The '84 established Merlot as the flagship red of Firestone. (Bob Thompson)

Firestone Vineyards

1992 Firestone Merlot
This was the start of a love affair between Firestone Merlot and my Scott's Panel. It placed Number 1 in my large, blind tasting four years ago. They liked what critic James Laube's panel described as "light, spicy and smooth-textured."

1995 Firestone Reserve Merlot
The bond continues. The tasters like the hint of herbs in the rich flavors, and gave it a very good in my recent blind tasting. They didn't know it, but other competitions have produced similar results.. the '95 has won the GOLD at the New World International, the Maryland Winefest and the Dallas Morning News events.

Adam Firestone liked 1995. First, the weather was "ideal for Merlot, being moderate enough to permit a late [October] harvest." Second, he became president of the winery, replacing his father, Brooks, who was elected to the California State Assembly.

Firestone Merlot

For more information about the 1995, call Shelley Machet at (805) 688-3940.
Price—$25.

 


Postscript

Like Father, Like Son—The Father: Brooks needed plenty of courage to found a huge vineyard and winery in the Santa Ynez Valley 20 years ago, "since the area had no reputation for producing fine wine." The Son: No shortage of courage here. Adam left his law career long enough to serve in Desert Storm with the 1st Marine Division. It wasn't a comfy desk job. Captain Firestone led Special Operations decoy raids into the desert!

Note: For more about the winery, see the April 27,1998 WineDay titled, " Firestone Milestones."

 

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

 

 

WineDay Annex

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Fred McMillin

 

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