Mercer Estates Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington
The grapes were harvested at three different times over the course of three weeks in October to allow for small lot winemaking and additional complexity by harvesting at three different grape maturity levels. The grapes were crushed, inoculated and punched down daily. After extracting the beautiful red and purple colors and the ripe tannins – the hallmark of grapes from the Horse Heaven Hills - the wines were pressed off and placed in French and American oak barrels. Here they finished the malo-lactic fermentation allowing for good integration of oak into the wine at this critical early age. Continued ageing in barrel for 14 month allowed for further softening of the tannins, increased mouthfeel and complexity.
Aromas of cherry, chocolate and herbal notes are accented by a hint of vanillin and oak spice. In the supple, rich mouth, flavors of coffee, cherry and cassis linger on the palate. This Cabernet is well balanced with a good structure, soft tannins and a long finish.
Wine Spectator - "Smooth and generous, this is nicely fashioned to balance fine tannins with lavish black cherry, black currant, violet and mocha aromas and flavors, lingering on the expressive finish"
Mercer Estates Winery
Mercer Estates is a family-owned Washington State winery devoted to producing premium wines through a partnership of the Mercer and Hogue families. Built upon a shared passion for the Columbia Valley and a winemaking heritage which bridges generations of excellence in Washington State agriculture and more than 25 years of grape growing and winemaking experience, Mercer Estates, located in Prosser, Washington, was founded in 2006. Winemaking responsibility for Mercer Estates lies in the hands of David Forsyth, one of the most acclaimed winemakers in the country. David grew up in eastern Washington and spent 23 years making wine for The Hogue Cellars with Mike Hogue before moving to Mercer Estates. View all Mercer Estates Wines
About Other WashingtonView a map of Other Washington wineries
A few other appellations in Washington include:
Puget Sound, which grows some lesser-known grapes like Muller-Thurgau and Madeleine Angevine, is less known for quality wines and better liked for being a tourist attraction.
Red Mountainsub-appellation runs along the eastern part of Yakima Valley. It's best for red varietals and is constantly growing in quality and popularity.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.