Hightower Cellars 2018 Merlot, Red Mountain $33.00

By on April 12, 2022

Tim and Kelly Hightower have gone Platinum with Merlot in 2020 and 2021, and they’ve qualified for this fall’s 2022 judging with this bottling from the 2018 vintage. While their estate Out of Line Vineyard serves as the foundation, there’s also a significant contribution from E&E Shaw Vineyard — recently purchased by the Gamble family. All of the clone 14 and 15 fruit was off the vine by Sept. 28. The blending of barrels from France and Hungary with American oak leads to layers of complexity, ranging from blackberry and plum to mocha. A deep cherry note runs underneath and throughout. While the tannins are stately, the Hightowers still achieve the balance long associated with their program.

Rating: Gold medal – 93 points

Production: 269 cases

Alcohol: 14.7%

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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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