The 2016 Merlot opens with plum, wild strawberry, cherry, cinnamon, vanilla, and hits of cocoa. The palate is rich and supple with black cherry, vanilla, spicy oak, and black pepper flavors, and vanilla spice on the finish. Pair with braised short ribs, roast pork, or grilled salmon.
Vintage and Vineyards
The 2016 growing season was an excellent year for red grapes. With above-average temperatures and dry conditions, the grapes ripened fully, developing the delicious varietal flavors Washington State Merlot is known for. We selected fruit from Wahluke Slope (50%), Horse Heaven Hills (26%), Yakima Valley (21%), Columbia Valley (3%), and Rattlesnake Hills (1%). Merlot has long been one of Washington’s signature wines because the climate and fine, sandy loam soil in the winegrowing regions produce fruit with small berries that have intense color and classic cherry and cola characteristics.
The grapes were picked at mid-day and during the late afternoon to encourage fermentation. They were then destemmed, crushed, and fermented in stainless steel. The wine was racked and returned to barrels several times and aged for 6 to 12 months in American oak barrels, 25% new, to impart richness and vanilla aromas.