Mercer Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, 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
The Mercer Estates Wines exemplify the very best of what our Washington state terroir has to offer. Our award-winning wines are produced with a pure and traditional winemaking philosophy – from the initial grape planting, viticultural techniques to our considerable oak programs.
Mercer red wine grapes are primarily grown in the unique terroir of the Horse Heaven Hills in southeastern Washington state. The soil types and microclimates make this AVA a premier red wine grape growing location.
Our white wine grapes grow mostly in the Yakima Valley where the temperatures are slightly cooler and optimal for bright, fresh and crisp white wines. View all Mercer Estates Wines
About Columbia ValleyView a map of Columbia Valley wineries
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
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.