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Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2005

Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WE91
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Currently Unavailable $39.99
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Winemaker Notes

A blend of 80% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot.

This rich wine is concentrated and yet elegant, with aromas of cherry, plum, raspberry, and blackberry, finishing off with flavors of toasted oak, vanilla, coconut, mint, and toffee. Enjoy and celebrate!

"The 2005 Merlot Columbia Valley contains 17% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot aged for 18 months in 70% new French and American oak. Opaque purple, it offers up an expressive nose of smoky black cherry and black currant aromas, spice box, and mineral. It has a firm, tannic entry which is a mild cause for concern. The wine has good flavors and plenty of depth but there is tannin in the finish which blunts the fruit. It may evolve and round out but that is a gamble." 88 Points
Wine Advocate
June 2008

Editor's Choice. "The Columbia Valley designated Merlot from Northstar accounts for six times as many cases as its Walla Walla Merlot, yet in quality terms it sometimes equals or even surpasses the pricier bottling. The 2005 vintage was stellar, and this lovely wine is bursting with fruit—raspberry, blackberry, plum and more. Spicy aromas and flavors wrap around chocolaty tannins; there are exotic hints of curry and plenty of toast." 91 Points
Wine Enthusiast

Critical Acclaim

WE 91
Wine Enthusiast

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Northstar

Northstar

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Northstar, , Washington
Northstar
Northstar, located in Walla Walla, Washington, aims to make Merlots that can be considered among the world's best, using fruit sourced from one of the world's best regions for the variety: Washington state. Winemaker, David "Merf" Merfeld, blends New World fruit with an old world winemaking style, influenced by Bordeaux's "right bank," to create his highly-acclaimed wines. Northstar produces two Merlot-based wines from the Columbia Valley and Walla Walla AVAs, as well as the Stella Maris red blend and extremely limited production bottlings of the blending component varieties that Merf uses as his "spice box" in creating Northstar's Merlots.

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production...

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes...

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

WAL408158_2005 Item# 95963

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