57. Northstar Winery 2009 Premier Merlot, Columbia Valley, $85
Behold the brightest jewel in the Northstar crown by Dave Merfeld, the Merlot maestro of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Despite the “game over” freeze event of Oct. 10, 2009, “Merf” bottled a stunning example of Merlot from a 24-year-old block at acclaimed Cold Creek Vineyard overlooking the Columbia River. The nose carries raspberry sauce, spiced cherry, Belgian chocolate and Western red cedar notes. A program of French oak, 50% new barrels, helps create flavors of black cherry and chocolate. The texture is smoooooth and silky with bright acidity in the background and a lengthy farewell of Aussie black licorice. Suggested fare includes beef tenderloin with morel mushroom sauce, duck with cherry reduction, roasted leg of lamb, charcuterie and rich cheeses.
Production: 190 cases