Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2009 Front Label
Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2009 Front LabelNorthstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2009 Front Bottle ShotNorthstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2009 Back Bottle Shot

Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2009

  • WE92
  • RP92
  • WS91
750ML / 14.8% ABV
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750ML / 14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Rich and concentrated aromas of vanilla, blackberry, and maple lead into flavors of boysenberry, blueberry, and chocolate. This wine was created to enjoy now or for many years to come – it will age gracefully.

Blend: 81% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
The vines from which the fruit for this wine were sourced are, on average, 15 years old. Aged primarily in French oak, this concentrated wine shows fine depth, with an emphasis on black cherry and cassis flavors. Full and ripe, this well-structured effort has the balance and polished tannins to be cellared for a decade, at least. Cellar Selection.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Merlot Columbia Valley (81% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot) is easily the largest production release from this estate, with over 8,000 cases produced. Aged in 95% French and 5% American oak, 57% being new, for 18 months, it offers a beautiful bouquet of black cherry, red currants, underbrush and toast as well as a perfectly balanced, silky and elegant feel in the mouth. Leaning heavily towards to finesse driven side of the spectrum, with silky tannin, medium body and moderate concentration, it will evolve gracefully for upwards of a decade.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Firm and peppery, with a strong black pepper note running through the dark berry and currant fruit, all of it persisting in a harmonious package and scratchy tannins that need time to soften. Drink now through 2017.
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Northstar

Northstar

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Northstar, Washington
Northstar Northstar vineyards and winery Winery Image

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.

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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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SWS331852_2009 Item# 123666

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