Washington State has been touted as perhaps the best Merlot producing region in the United States. Hogue Merlot lives up to this reputation. The aromas are earthy and toasty with black cherry, cocoa, and spice. The palate is rich, but not heavy with black cherry and boysenberry fruit flavors. Pair with roast turkey, grilled bison burgers, or butternut-stuffed ravioli.
Vintage and Vineyards
The 2016 growing season was extremely warm in Eastern Washington. The Merlot ripened fully, developing classic Washington State varietal character, excellent balance, and elegance. Grapes for this vintage were chosen from Wahluke Slope (45%), Yakima Valley (38%), Columbia Valley (15%), and Horse Heaven Hills (2%).
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. All of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation and was then racked and blended to balance oak and structure. The winemakers tasted and refined the blend to carefully craft the final product, which was bottled in April 2017.