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Powers Meritage 1999

Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Winemaker Notes

    Tasting Notes: Impressive depth, complexity, and richness in the nose of black cherry, plum, and vanilla. Layers of flavors echo the aromas, with length and depth added by new French oak. An impeccable package of power and balance. Winemaker's Notes: When we first set out to create a showcase Red Table Wine from Powers, we knew we had the elements in place to do it. How to combine those elements was the challenge. With so many different lots of Bordeaux varietals to choose from, we narrowed it down to the very best wines available, and sat down with the entire staff to blend the components. As usual, the Mercer Ranch Cabernet (40%) was a clear winner, with depth and power. Many lots of Merlot were scrutinized, but the one that contributed the most style, finesse and finishing balance to the blend was from the Taggares Vineyard (50%). Perhaps the toughest decision was the Cabernet Franc lot that best complimented the base blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Powers

    Powers

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    Powers, Columbia Valley, Washington
    In 1992, we at Badger Mountain Vineyard introduced the Powers wine label to allow us to produce high quality wines made from varietals not growing in our organic vineyard. Each year, Bill works closely with the grape growers to ensure we will receive the highest quality fruit with the best potential to make wine worthy of the consistent excellence we have come to expect from Powers Winery.

    Columbia Valley

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    A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for 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 extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. 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 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, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

    Bordeaux Blends

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    One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

    In the Glass

    Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

    Perfect Pairings

    Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

    Sommelier Secret

    While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

    NWL854475_1999 Item# 62408