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

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

Barrister Winery 2012 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $29

Barrister Winery-2012-MerlotThese two Spokane attorneys got their introduction to winemaking by using a kit during a vacation in British Columbia, but their real start came via their Gonzaga University connection to Myles Anderson of Walla Walla Vintners, who presented them with a bin of commercial fruit. Greg Lipsker and Michael White haven’t looked back, and their winemaking triumvirate with Tyler Walters continues to spend much of their efforts working with Walla Walla Valley sites. Here, it is Dwelley Vineyard, and the barrel program that includes 50% new French oak exudes aromas of tar, roasted coffee beans and tobacco with black plums, blackberry and bacon fat. Inside, it’s as dark as a movie theater with a hedonistic feel of blackberry, black cherry and chocolate-covered pomegranate, joined by more bacon, coffee and lime peel.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 302 cases

Alcohol: 14.8%

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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