Washington Merlot a love affair

By on February 1, 2015

Seven Hills Winery 2012 Seven Hills Vineyard Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $38

seven-hills-winery-seven-hills-vineyard-merlot-nv-bottleCasey McClellan and his father, Jim, planted Seven Hills Vineyard in 1982, and this vintage marked the 25th year he’s worked with Merlot from this vineyard overlooking Milton-Freewater, Ore. It spent 20 months in French oak, with nearly half of those barrels new, to create dense aromatics of blackberry, blueberry, plum and tar, joined by white chocolate, chalkboard dust and black pepper. The flavor profile is one of dark purple fruit amid a suave and lengthy structure of fine-grained tannins and blueberry acidity. Many might not think of it as such, but it’s a stunning example of Oregon Merlot that’s available at the downtown Walla Walla tasting room. And it’s expected to cellar nicely into 2020.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 560 cases

Alcohol: 14.2%

Winery website

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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