From the winemaker:
This well-structured, medium-bodied Merlot shows lots of black cherry, plum
and spice notes in the nose that flow into fleshy black fruit and chocolate flavors
in the mouth. With an abundance of texture and length, this wine should age
gracefully for a minimum of 10 years.
Over the course of the last few vintages, the Columbia Valley has seen a shift
from two of this decade’s cooler vintages in 2010 and 2011 to the warmest
vintage of the last ten years in 2013. An early bud break was followed by warm
temperatures that persisted through August. Harvest started earlier than
normal but cool September temperatures slowed ripening considerably, and
most grapes benefited from the drawn-out hang time that occurred because of
these cooler temperatures.
One of the advantages of having made wine in the Columbia Valley since the
mid-1980s is the opportunity it’s given me to work with some of the most
dedicated growers in the industry. Our Columbia Valley wines are made from
a short list of vineyards I consider to be among the best in the state. The
diversity of these vineyards-representing many of the most mature, carefully
managed sites in Washington-provides for a full range of fruit expression that
allows me to craft complex, multi-layered wines true to Columbia Valley terroir
as well as the varietal character of the grapes. Our 2013 Columbia Valley
Merlot includes grapes from Weinbau, Klipsun, and Ciel du Cheval Vineyards.
After destemming and crushing, grapes were fermented on their skins in small
lots for an average time of eight days. After being pressed off, each lot of wine
was moved to an equal mix of new and once used French oak barrels for 21
months of barrel aging during which time the wine was racked every 5 months.
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