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Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
This 2006 Columbia Valley Merlot is produced from grapes grown at several of the finest vineyards in Washington State. These include Weinbau Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope of central Washington (50%), Woodward Canyon Estate Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley (31%), Sagemoor Vineyard overlooking the Columbia River in eastern Washington (15%) and DuBrul Vineyard in the Yakima Valley (4%). Fruit ripened beautifully in 2006 producing a more slightly approachable wine with great concentration, structure and expression.
The 2006 vintage was warm with fruit ripening fully by the first week in October. The wine shows extraordinary complexity yet is softer and more elegant than our 2005 Merlot. The blending of fruit from such fantastic vineyards has produced a complex flavor profile of generous cherry, oak, spice and coffee; I pick up notes of toasted coconut and vanilla in the aroma. Rich fruit and fully mature tannins give this wine the proportion and structure to age well for six years or more.
"There is a little Cabernet Sauvignon (15%) and Syrah (4%) in the blend also. This is a silky, yet muscular - lets say it, masculine - style of Merlot. Meaning that the fruit is concentrated with deep blue and black berry and cassis flavors, augmented with lead pencil. Beautiful polish and concentration characterize this wine, yet it's quite approachable."
Woodward Canyon Winery was founded by Rick Small in 1981. He is currently soul-searching on the subject of terroir. Debating the suitability of certain varietals to certain vineyard plots has become a quandary. On the one hand, the grapes growing there do fine and are the basis for extremely successful wines (Chardonnay, mostly); on the other, would Merlot or Cabernet Franc provide even more exciting character? The evolution of the Northwest wine industry continues.
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...Read More About Columbia Valley
No second fiddle
Merlot is coming back into its own. High popularity led to mass production, which then led to a backlash towards the variety (remember Miles in Sideways?). But passionate Merlot producers, and of course the right bank of Bordeaux, continued to produce quality versions of this grape. Merlot remains the principle grape of top chateaux in St...Read More About Merlot
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