Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 1999
from Columbia Valley, Washington
World class Merlot from Washington State, this wine has it all. Intensity, elegance, and rich, velvety fruit. Simply delicious! The 1999 growing season began as one of the coolest on record since 1954, resulting in smaller fruit set and lower grape cluster weights.
The month of August saw the onset of a prolonged period of warm, cloud free, sunny weather and low nighttime temperatures—ideal conditions for the development of intense aromas and flavors in the ripening grapes.
Harvest began in late September, giving extra time for flavors to mature. The fruit's complexity and concentration were further enhanced by smaller than usual berry size and low yields.
Aged for 18 months in French and American oak, using 75% new and 25% one-year-old barrels. Individual lots were gravity racked every three months for clarity, with a total of 6 rackings.
More than 13 individual lots and 20 blend possibilities were tasted for the final blend.
"Northstar has ramped up production to 2,900 cases, on its way to 15,000 once the new winery (being built in Walla Walla) is operational. Here is flat-out killer fruit, stacked with all the flavors of the rainbow, that finds the silky sweet spot on the palate and goes for a long, long ride. This winery is on a roll."
-Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Wines 2002
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