2018 Little Sister Reviews Vineyards Past Vintages

Vineyard Source

Quintessence, Red Mountain


100% Merlot



Release Date

September 2020


100 cases

Download Tasting Notes PDF

Tasting Notes

2018 Little Sister offers dense, dark fruit aromas mingled with crushed violets. Blueberry, plum, hints of leather, and lush dark fruits present on the palate with velvety tannins. This full-bodied, barrel selected merlot is lush and clean, with approachability now and structure to cellar for decades.



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From the 2016 vintage

92 points, Jeb Dunnuck

"Based on 100% Merlot, the 2016 Little Sister comes from the Phinny Hill and Red Willow vineyards and was brought up in 44% new French oak. It has beautiful black cherries, crushed flowers, violets, and forest floor notes, with subtle Pomerol-like juiciness and earthy minerality. Medium to full-bodied, fresh and lively, with good acidity and purity, drink this fleshy, pretty Merlot over the coming 10-12 years."



Quintessence Vineyards is a 410-acre parcel of land with a base elevation of 675 feet, rising to 1,025 feet as it reaches Red Mountain AVA's southwest-facing slopes. Quintessence founders Dick Shaw and Paul Kaltinick planted their first vines as partners on Red Mountain in 2010. They launched Quintessence with a planting of 68 acres along Red Mountain's southwestern slope. Positive response was immediate, with customers pointing to "world class vineyard management" and "spectacular fruit" as some outstanding attributes. Additional planting followed, with similar success. Now, with the expansion along the eastern ridge and slop of Red Mountain, Quintessence will encompass some 300 acres in total. Quintessence is made up of premium land, a talent for farming, dedicated management, ideal growing conditions, and a love for what they do.


More to come!