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Mercer Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

  • WS91
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

The grapes were harvested at three different times over the course of three weeks in October to allow for small lot winemaking and additional complexity by harvesting at three different grape maturity levels. The grapes were crushed, inoculated and punched down daily. After extracting the beautiful red and purple colors and the ripe tannins – the hallmark of grapes from the Horse Heaven Hills - the wines were pressed off and placed in French and American oak barrels. Here they finished the malo-lactic fermentation allowing for good integration of oak into the wine at this critical early age. Continued ageing in barrel for 14 month allowed for further softening of the tannins, increased mouthfeel and complexity.

Aromas of cherry, chocolate and herbal notes are accented by a hint of vanillin and oak spice. In the supple, rich mouth, flavors of coffee, cherry and cassis linger on the palate. This Cabernet is well balanced with a good structure, soft tannins and a long finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
Smooth and generous, this is nicely fashioned to balance fine tannins with lavish black cherry, black currant, violet and mocha aromas and flavors, lingering on the expressive finish
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Mercer Estates

Mercer Estates

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Mercer Estates, Washington
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Mercer was the founding member of Washington’s highest accoladed AVA, Horse Heaven Hills. Their vineyard at one time included, and still adjoins, the source of Washington’s first Parker-rated 100 point wines. Mercer Ranch was homesteaded by the Mercer family in 1886 and was planted to vines in 1972. The family still supplies grapes to some of the state’s leading wine brands, as well as its own Mercer Family Vineyards label, which consistently produces Cabernet Sauvignons rated 90+ by the leading wine critics.

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Columbia Valley

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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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Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

WBO30071514_2006 Item# 99155