Novelty Hill Merlot 2006
Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
The estate vineyard Merlot includes a splash of Cabernet and Petit Verdot; it's beefed up considerably from the regular Columbia Valley Merlot. More muscle and weight translates more to a stylistic choice than a better wine; both Merlots are substantial and satisfying, with much more flesh to the red fruit flavors, and the tannic backbone to carry the wine through a smooth finish.
The Wine Advocate - "The dark ruby-colored 2006 Merlot Columbia Valley offers up aromas of spice box, black cherry, and cassis. Elegant on the palate, it has plenty of spicy fruit, savory flavors, and good length. This tasty effort will drink well through 2016."
Wine Spectator - "Rich and ripe, with a tarry edge to the dried cherry and dark plum flavors, finishing with spice and pepper. Drink now through 2013. 2,980 cases made. "
Novelty Hill Winery
Novelty Hill is a small, independent winery crafting limited quantities of elegant wines from Washington State's finest vineyards. Committed to delivering consistent, high quality wines through careful nurturing from vine to bottle, they are dedicated to using innovative clonal selection, sound viticultural practices and gentle, artisan winemaking to produce wines of uncompromising character. View all Novelty Hill 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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