A blend of 86% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec.
Our 2005 Merlot is a lustrous, dark-ruby color with a lovely perfume of red and black currants, cream of cassis, pain grille, pencil lead, Asian spices and wild berries. On the palate, it is a rich, layered, velvety-textured wine with complex flavors of spicy ripe black fruit, earth, and cedar. This wine has a great sense of place, beautifully balanced with a terrific, long finish.
"The Best Merlot of the Year--93 Points
Dusty, savory scents of tar and cedar complement a concentrated, sweet plum aroma. The flavors broaden into more complex terrain—dark plum, anise, clove, caramel and bread pudding flavors." The Best Merlot of the Year. 93 Points Wine & Spirits
"The blend includes 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec, all estate-grown. The aromas are intense and seductive, layered with flower, berry and clove. Dense and youthful, the wine has compact black fruits, streaks of smoke and a strong flavor of clove. It's a big wine, with mass and depth. The new oak is pulled back relative this winery's earlier vintages, to good effect, and the fruit can more than carry it. It changes rapidly in the glass, suggesting that once it's past its baby fat stage it will show still more complexity, while retaining an elegant precision." 91 Points Wine Enthusiast
Pepper Bridge Winery
Pepper Bridge focuses on making elegant, balanced wines from sustainably farmed Walla Walla Valley estate vineyards. These vineyards, Pepper Bridge and Seven Hills, are recognized as two of the best — not only in the appellation — but also in the state.
As farmers, the Pepper Bridge crew spends quite a bit of time talking about their vineyards. However, there is much to say about the wines and winery as well. Pepper Bridge Winery remains family-owned and true to its own sense of winemaking style.
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Sharing part of the valley with Oregon, Walla Walla is on the southeast side of the Columbia Valley. It is primarily red grape land, with Cabernet Sauvignon leading in the vineyards, followed by Merlot and the ever-growing and very popular, Syrah.
In the 1990's, as Washington State was gaining more acclaim for its red wines, Walla Walla was hailed by wine critics for its quality and sense of place. That has not changed. Many red wines from Walla Walla show not only great complexity and elegance, but ageability. Though the region is known for the red wines, the most planted white grape here is Chardonnay.
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.
Most 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 & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.