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Skyfall Merlot 2016

    750ML / 13.93% ABV
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    3.9 9 Ratings
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    3.9 9 Ratings
    750ML / 13.93% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Wonderfully developed plum, vanilla, and leather aromas swirl in the glass. Juicy flavors of cherry candy coupled with hints of cocoa powder weave through the palate. Balanced acidity and polished tannins on the finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Skyfall

    Skyfall Vineyard

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    Skyfall Vineyard, Washington
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    Skyfall Vineyard was named for massive car-sized boulders scattered among the vines, appearing to have fallen from the sky. These glacial rocks were left in the wake of the ancient Missoula floods that cut the Columbia River. Floods deposited silty loam soil mixed with volcanic ash for soil conditions that create complex, elegant wines.

    Dave Minick, 3rd generation Washington State grower, oversees all vineyard management for consistent, perfectly ripe grapes across Skyfall vineyard sites. All vineyards receive the same environmentally responsible care with minimalist intervention including a new compost program for naturally enriching soils and use of low impact vehicles in vineyards.

    Skyfall Vineyard fruit is sourced from Washington’s top AVAs within Columbia Valley including Horse Heaven Hills, Wahluke Slope, and Yakima Valley. Columbia Valley has optimal growing conditions with hot days allowing grapes to ripen and cool nights where acidity develops. This means Skyfall Vineyard wines are well balanced between the crisp acidity, firm tannins, and ripe fruit structure, ready for immediate enjoyment.

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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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    Merlot

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    An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot can be made into a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the best wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol where it is blended with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, it plays a supporting role to Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly from California’s Napa Valley.

    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 with Cabernet Franc.

    SOU358665_2016 Item# 422469