Washington Merlot: It’s the soil and a lot more

by | Sep 20, 2015 | Featured wines, News, Washington wine | 0 comments

SuLei Cellars 2012 Merlot, Walla Walla County, $28

SuLei Cellars 2012 Merlot labelWalla Walla Valley winemaker Tanya Woodley appears to have found a sweet spot for Merlot along the Snake River, upstream from Ice Harbor Dam, at Lodmell Vineyards. Her two-barrel lot with 30 percent new oak offers aromas of plump dark blueberries, cherries on parchment paper and ripe Damson plum joined by cocoa and black pepper. The juice is hedonistic, dark and toasty with massive levels of those same tones of dark blue fruit. While the tannins assert themselves, there’s plenty of fruit to support the structure that’s accented by Aussie-style black licorice and horehound. These wines are available in the Puget Sound at Leschi Market, The Wine Alley in Renton and QFC stores at Westwood Village and Capitol Hill. In the Columbia Valley, look for them at Yoke’s Fresh Market locations in the Tri-Cities, Olive Marketplace & Cafe and Whitehouse Crawford in Walla Walla and Whoopemup Hollow Cafe in Waitsburg.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 48 cases

Alcohol: 15.1%

Winery website

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles credited to Great Northwest Wine are authored by Eric Degerman and other contributors. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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