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Woodward Canyon Columbia Valley Merlot 1999

Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WS91
  • WE89
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Currently Unavailable $39.99
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Winemaker Notes

Our 1999 Columbia Valley merlot was produced from grapes grown by Conner Lee, Hedges, Artz, Sagemoor, and Champoux vineyards, on or very near the Columbia River in eastern Washington, and Pepper Bridge and Woodward Estate vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley. Merlot took longer to mature in 1999 simply because it was cooler than 1998. Average sugar for this merlot blend was over 24.5 degrees brix, but with much nicer overall balance.

This merlot was pumped over and punched down by hand three times per day in small stainless steel tanks. Some lots were fermented to dryness while others were pressed well before. After pressing, settling, and racking the various lots were moved to new French barrels for aging and maturation. Following final racking the wine was assembled and, in mid July 2000, was bottled unfined and unfiltered then laid down in our cellar for additional bottle aging.

The slower ripening 1999 vintage is beautifully reflected in this merlot. The wine shows extraordinary definition and focus for such a young wine. The ability to blend with such incredible components has allowed us to produce a spectacular wine with deep color, ripe bing cherry and concentrated cassis, chocolate and mocha. Vanilla spice from new barrels makes for a surprisingly complex red wine. The finish is long and generous. This wine may be consumed now, but it will improve significantly with bottle age. With proper storage, this wine should be enjoyable for ten years.

Critical Acclaim

WS 91
Wine Spectator

WE 89
Wine Enthusiast

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Woodward Canyon

Woodward Canyon

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Woodward Canyon, , Washington
Woodward Canyon
Woodward Canyon Winery, named for the canyon Rick’s family farmed and where the Estate Vineyard is now located, was established in 1981 by Rick Small and his wife, Darcey Fugman-Small. Woodward Canyon was the second winery in the Walla Walla Valley and the Smalls were instrumental in the process of obtaining federal approval of the Walla Walla Valley appellation.

The winery has consistently produced premium, age-worthy, award-winning Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots as well as Chardonnays. From the outset, Rick determined that quality would take precedence over quantity.

Consequently, Woodward Canyon has remained small. Woodward Canyon is located in Lowden in the Walla Walla Valley appellation. The tasting room is a restored 1870's farmhouse.

Woodward Canyon is a founding member of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and VINEA, the Walla Walla Valley Winegrowers' Sustainable Trust.

Cotes du Rhone

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Rhône White Blends

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Full-bodied and flavorful, Rhône white blends are made in France’s Rhone Valley and beyond, proving most successful in Spain, Australia, South America, and California’s Central Coast. They are made from a combination of two or more of the white varieties permitted in the Rhône, potentially including Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier.

In the Glass

Each variety brings something different to the table. Round, textural Grenache Blanc contributes green apple and white stone fruit flavors; weighty Marsanne adds structure and delicate honeysuckle aromas; russet-colored Roussanne lends intriguing herbal, tea-like notes, and Viognier provides an oily texture and an elegant floral perfume. The flavor of the final wine will depend on the chosen components of the blend and their respective proportions.

Perfect Pairings

Since Rhône white blends tend to be fairly full-bodied, they can be quite versatile food pairing wines and can work with light to medium rich meals that might normally be matched with reds. Meatier fish dishes with bold seasoning like grilled swordfish with caper butter or baked, herb-crusted mahi mahi are natural allies for these flavorful wines. Other ideal dishes include roast pork in mustard sauce, poached lobster with beurre blanc, or a rich and savory vegetable quiche. `

Sommelier Secret

In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are most common, in the appellations of St.-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, and St-Péray (in Condrieu and Château-Grillet, whites are made from Viognier only). The Southern Rhône, on the other hand, has much more variety, with many more permitted grapes including Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul Blanc, and Ugni Blanc.

MNC4873F_1999 Item# 37796

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