Red Wines    Merlot    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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My Rating (circle) :
Date Printed: 7/10/2014
Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 1999
Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 1999
(search item no. 53517)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 7/10/2014: $52.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

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

My Notes:

Additional wines from Northstar:

About Northstar:

Northstar, located in Walla Walla, Washington, aims to make Merlots that can be considered among the world's best, using fruit sourced from one of the world's best regions for the variety: Washington state. Winemaker, David "Merf" Merfeld, blends New World fruit with an old world winemaking style, influenced by Bordeaux's "right bank," to create his highly-acclaimed wines. Northstar produces two Merlot-based wines from the Columbia Valley and Walla Walla AVAs, as well as the Stella Maris red blend and extremely limited production bottlings of the blending component varieties that Merf uses as his "spice box" in creating Northstar's Merlots.