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2009 Merlot

CC Red Wine

Wine Details

Appelation: Washington State

Vineyard(s):

Blend: Merlot

Harvest Date:

Bottling Date:

Alcohol: 14.5%

Details: 24 Brix / /

Retail Price: $19.00 / Cases:

Camaraderie Cellars 

This is another "cab" drinkers Merlot from Camaraderie. Other wineries might call this style of wine their "reserve" but we are so small we don't have any to "reserve" for special treatment. When you visit the winery you will see that all our wines get special treatment, just as you will when you come. Our Merlot holds its own with any of the other Bordeaux varieties. The grapes are from Chandler Reach, within eyeshot of Red Mountain, and Fred Artz' vineyard on Red Mountain at the far eastern end of the Yakima Valley. This year about a third of our Merlot came from Butch Milbrandt's Clifton Hill Vineyard up on the Wahluke Slope, the States newest American Viticultural Area.

Grapes from these vineyards make for structured wines that might be confused with the mouthfeel of Cabernet Sauvignon, except for one thing. If I knew what it was, I'd tell you, but I'm not sure except that the "middle palate" weight of our Merlot is as Merlot-ish as you can get. No "I'll have a Merlot" light weight kind of wine, this one. It's full of blackberry and cherry and is chewy - not to excess, with oak but definitely a wine that will be enjoyed most by folks who like to carry on a dialog with their wine. Drink it now for a quality but youthful discussion, or allow both of you to age a couple of years for a deeper conversation.

As with all of our wines, the quality starts in the vineyard. We try to harvest Merlot in the high 24 Brix range, but sometimes harvest exuberance pushes sugars into the 25's. We also look for balanced acids in the mouth. Both come from "hang time" on the vine which results in deepened flavors like the difference between red cherries and the really good ones that come just before the birds get them. We will ferment mostly in tank, (that's the wine in the tank). Yeasts will be chosen to accent the deep pit fruit flavors achieved in the vineyard. Then comes a two-year regime of oak aging. This is another kind of "hang time" and it is as essential to good winemaking as is the hang time in the vineyard. We blended 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc with the Merlot this year.

Give this one some time in the bottle. Merlot in Washington State is world class and should not be confused with quaffing wine Miles hated in the movie Sideways.

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