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Sagelands Merlot Four Corners 2005

Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
    0% ABV
    • WE91
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    4.0 1 Ratings
    0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The grapes for the 2005 Sagelands Vineyard Merlot were gently destemmed without crushing and then cold soaked for one day before fermentation. After aging the lots separately in mostly American oak barrels for 14 months, they were blended together to produce a wine of great expression. Both additions of selected Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon enriched the mid-palate as well as enhancing the ultimate flavors. This young Merlot is showing great concentration and potential.

    This bright garnet-color Merlot displays a vibrant nose of red raspberry, plum, and Bing cherry with notes of blueberry, vanilla, and Belgium chocolate. This delicate and medium-bodied wine shows a nice touch of licorice and spices coming from the oak.

    Enjoy this wine paired with pork chops in balsamic cherry sauce, polenta with grilled sausages and Asagio, roasted chicken with herbs rub, fettuccini carbonara, or wild salmon barbequed on an applewood plank.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Sagelands

    Sagelands Vineyard

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    Sagelands Vineyard, Columbia Valley, Washington
    The “Four Corners” of Washington’s Columbia Valley—Wahluke Slope, Horse Heaven Hills, Rattlesnake Hills and Walla Walla Valley—have emerged in recent years as superb growing regions for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Developing strong relationships with local growers and supervising the cultivation of its vineyard sources assures Sagelands Vineyard an outstanding palette of top quality grapes with which to create wines of impressive quality and value.

    Each vineyard lot has a character and personality all its own. Following crush, fermentation and aging in small oak barrels, Sagelands Vineyard’s winemaker brings these lots together in artful blends that surpass their individual components in richness, complexity and balance.

    Situated at the western gateway to Yakima Valley’s wine country, the Sagelands Vineyard tasting room presents both exciting wines and inspiring views of the Valley and Mt. Adams.

    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.

    An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

    In the Glass

    Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

    Perfect Pairings

    Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

    CWW4778F_2005 Item# 91402