Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2008
Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
A bright, balanced wine with notes of black cherry, spice, and coconut leading to a long, smoky finish. Based on this winemaker's extensive research, this wine pairs well with just about anything but especially grilled steak and lamb.
Blend: 78% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Columbia Valley Merlot offers up aromas of balsam wood, spice box, tobacco, violets, cassis, and blackberry. Savory on the palate, if slightly austere, another 1-2 years of bottle should fill the wine out. It will drink well through 2023."
Wine Enthusiast - "This wine gets the all-star treatment, blending fruit from 14 vineyards, and aging it in 60% new French oak. It's a substantial, muscular effort, with dark fruit, earth and tar components. A small addition of Petit Verdot darkens the color and thickens the tannins."
Wine Spectator - "Prickly tannins and a tang of acidity play against blackberry and cedary spice flavors in this firm red, which is nicely filled out, finishing with persistence."
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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 Valley
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.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review4.5 }div>4.5 out of 5 stars
- 5 Stars: 6
- 4 Stars: 0
- 3 Stars: 2
- 2 Stars: 0
- 1 Stars: 0
8 ratings, 6 with reviewslaurenmcgarry - San Francisco, CA511/28/2012awesome wine!! bright acidity and well balanced. surprisingly good for a washington merlot. Definitely would highly recommendThomas H. - Houston, TX54/15/2013
This is one of our favorites to drink with or without food. Very light and just enough sweetness. Perfect! Will keep ordering until it's out of stock!52/15/2013
- Light & Fruity
I've had many bottles of this vintage -- it is yummy and has become my go-to wine with just about any meal (although now that it's not on sale anymore, it's on the expensive side for its value). It is a lovely deep red color, vibrant nutty smokey nose, rich and juicy palate, and long mellow finish.32/26/201332/11/2013CARLA14 - Hayward, CA511/28/2012Nicely balanced.Mikayla Horace - Oakland, CA511/28/2012Very smoky and acidic perfect pair for steak, will definitely purchase again!Rob430 - Bothell, WA510/1/2012
- Smooth & Supple
Love this wine, love this winery.
- Big & Bold
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.
- 5 Stars: