Northstar Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
Aromas of black cherry lead into a palate ripe with raspberry, cassis, coconut and vanilla flavors. Full midpalate with chocolate and cherry. Long, lingering finish consists of red fruit, toasted coconut and smoke. This lush, rich wine is ready to enjoy now but will age gracefully for years to come.
Wine Enthusiast - "Consumers may find it difficult to differentiate this from the 2010 Ste. Michelle version of the same wine--both are 100% Cold Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. But this one, bottled under the Northstar label, has more muscle, more power and more depth. Tannic, thick and darkly fruited, it's tightly-wound yet expressive effort, with complex flavors that move from..."
The Wine Advocate - "Made from 100% Cold Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and aged for 22 months in 75% French oak, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic Cabernet with plenty of crème de cassis, black raspberry, graphite, wild flowers and scorched earth aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, with silky tannin, solid mid-palate depth and a layered, rich texture, it is already approachable and delivers loads of pleasure; nevertheless, it will evolve gracefully for over a decade. Drink now-2022."
Wine Spectator - "Smooth and ripe, glowing with cherry compote, fresh blackberry and dusky spice flavors, with hints of sage and rosemary on the extended finish. Drink now through 2017."
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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. View all Northstar 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 & 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.