Barnard Griffin Merlot 2004
This 2004 vintage Merlot is a worthy successor to our award winning 2003. The aromas of black cherries and red currants dominate the nose. There is a good dose of medium toasted European oak barrels. You see a great vintage in the 2004 with moderate tannins and good acid. This wine drinks great now and has some punch worthy of 5-8 years aging.
Vineyards and Growing Season:
The 2004 growing season was hot with deep ripening fruit that gave us wines of good color, structure and depth. This is a wine with good weight on the pallet. My winemaking philosophy remains constant as I blend the great characteristics of various vineyard sources to develop the best wine in the bottle.
Bordeaux yeast was used at a Max fermentation of 88 degrees F
Pump-overs 2 to 3 times daily until fermented to dryness
Aged in both American and European oak barrels- Medium Heavy Toast
A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!
Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.
Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.