Canoe Ridge Reserve Merlot 1999 Front Label
Canoe Ridge Reserve Merlot 1999 Front Label

Canoe Ridge Reserve Merlot 1999

  • WS90
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

A block on the far eastern side of our estate vineyard has always produced fruit with intense flavors. For several vintages we have kept this fruit separate, subdivided into different numbered lots, to follow its development. In the final blending we added it to our estate Merlot. The 1998 vintage was the first year we kept it separate from start to finish and bottled a Reserve Merlot. For the 1999 vintage, Lot 10 was blended with five barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon to produce the intense flavors and elegant mouthfeel that we've come to expect from this special vineyard block.

The nose is full of big, dark berry aromas. The fruit marries well with the balanced wood and spice on the palate. It is a mouthful of wine, with many complex layers of fresh blackberries, cassis, chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla. This wine is flat out yummy.

To match it with food, spin the big wheel of cuisine and see where you land. It goes with everything from Mongolian duck and brown rice to Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes. This wine begs for meat – grilled, roasted, pan-seared, smoked, broiled, or tartare. I recommended the wine, you choose the mood. -John Abbott, Winemaker

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Canoe Ridge

Canoe Ridge

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Canoe Ridge, Washington
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Canoe Ridge Vineyard's estate vineyard, uniquely sited at a broad section of the Columbia River in eastern Washington, produces grapes of uncommon quality. The vast river moderates temperatures, prolonging the grapes' time on the vines during summer days, which are longer at this northern latitude, while protecting the vines from hard freezes in the winter. Sheltering ridges limit wind damage and hold warmth around the vines. The grapes from this vineyard are as unique as the area, with layers of concentrated fruit and lush, supple texture.

The winery uses traditional French cellar practices, such as small-lot fermentation, gentle handling and French oak barrels, to enhance the fruit. To allow the best expression of each lot, the winemaker tailors the yeast strains, barrel selection and fermentation practices to complement the many different dimensions of the fruit. The winery is known for its unique Merlot, which displays the traditional elegant, classic flavors of Bordeaux Merlot, yet has the suppleness of Pinot Noir.

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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.

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LAU121141799_1999 Item# 50449

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