Seven Hills Winery 2017 SHW Founding Vineyard Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $50

By on December 15, 2020
seven hills winery shw founding vineyard merlot nv bottle - Seven Hills Winery 2017 SHW Founding Vineyard Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $50

Seven Hills West serves as a touchstone for the Walla Walla Valley wine industry because it marks the region’s first commercial planting of Merlot. Casey McClellan was home from his studies at the University of Washington when he worked alongside his father to establish the vineyard in 1982, which helps explain why this bottling is designated as “SHW Founding Vineyard.” This marks the 30th vintage of making Merlot from this venerable vines, and it lines up as another classic with a nose redolent of dense black cherry, sweet baking spices, lime oil and pleasing toast. There’s richness to the entry of Bing cherry, pipe tobacco and vanilla bean amid a solid, age-worthy structure and a long finish of cherry juice. Enjoy with Risotto, Butternut Squash, Mushrooms and Smoky Bacon.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 500 cases

Alcohol: 14.4%

Winery’s website

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the President and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for a decade. He is a frequent wine judge at international wine competitions throughout North America and orchestrates 10 Northwest competitions each year.

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