2012 Columbia Valley Merlot
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This 2012 Columbia Valley Merlot was produced from grapes grown at Weinbau Vineyard located above the Columbia River in central Washington and Woodward Canyon Estate Vineyard (LIVE certified sustainable) at the western edge of the Walla Walla Valley. These mature south facing vineyards are over 20 years average age and are comprised predominantly of sandy loam and silt loam soils respectively and are very well drained with perfect aspect. The 2012 vintage was exceptional for merlot with harvest starting the 3rd week in September and ending the 1st week in October.
This Merlot was pumped over or punched down by hand two times per day in small stainless steel tanks. After pressing, settling, and racking the various lots were moved to French barrels for aging and maturation. In late July this wine was assembled and on August 8, 2014 was bottled and laid down in our cellars for additional development. The wine shows beautifully with rich high toned fruit, balanced acidity and great proportion. The Weinbau Vineyard has produced a complex flavor profile of subtle cherry, spice and coffee while the Woodward Canyon property offers more earth. Notes of black cherry, spiced oak, leather and earth are in the aroma. This wine is generous and balanced enough to enjoy now, yet with the complexity and structure to age well for six or more years.
I think there’s some upside to the 2012 Columbia Valley Merlot. Coming from the Weinbau and Woodward Canyon estate vineyards, it has lots of oak in its black cherry fruit, scorched earth, graphite and coffee bean-like aromas and flavors. These give way to a medium to full-bodied, plump, layered and nicely concentrated wine that will be better in another year or two, and have a decade or more of longevity.