YAKIMA VALLEY AVA
For decades, winemakers have sought out the beautifully proportioned and expressive Merlot from the Yakima Valley. The search is relentless due to the unique expression of this grape captured in warm layers of black cherry fruit, floral spice aromas, soft tannins and earth tones. Our Merlot is a blend in equal proportions of four great vineyards from the Yakima and Red Mountain AVAs: Red Willow, DuBrul, Klipsun and Upchurch.
This vintage exhibits rich and pretty aromas of cassis, cherries, and pomegranates, as well as pie dough and pie spices like cinnamon and hints of clove. Lavender, sweet smoke, and earth tones are also present. The flavors, showing currants and black cherries, are beautifully proportioned with hints of citrus, wet stones and slate. This wine exemplifies how outstanding Merlot can be in Washington State with its balance, great ageability, and a lengthy finish.
Review by Stephen Tanzer for Vinous, October 2017:
(From DuBrul, Klipsun, Red Willow and Upchurch vineyards): Bright ruby-red. Inviting scents of cassis, pomegranate, spices, menthol and licorice. Densely packed, plush and ripe but showing less easy sweetness than the Doyenne Red Wine that preceded it in my tasting. A tangy cranberry flavor is accented by a hint of slatey minerality, which combines with the wine's firm but suave tannins to give it a serious spine for aging. Here's a Merlot that needs no Cabernet for structure.
Jeb Dunnuck, #231, June 2017:
Slightly less structured and concentrated from bottle than from barrel, the 2014 Merlot is a supple, elegant effort that has beautiful cassis, lead pencil, chocolate and hints of herbs in its full-bodied, charming, textured personality. It's impeccably balanced and has light, sweet tannin that show on the finish. While it's already drinking beautifully, I suspect it will continue to shine for a decade given its overall balance and purity.