By Duane Pemberton
Winery website: http://www.pepperbridge.com
Ask most any wine lover who makes the better Merlot between California and Washington State and you’ll find most agree, Washington makes some of the best Merlot going in the new world. This $50 bottle from the famed Pepper Bridge Winery is only 85% merlot but contains enough of it to be called a “merlot – let’s dive in.
- Varietals: 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec
- Vineyard: 55% Seven Hills Vineyard, 45% Pepper Bridge Vineyard
- Appellation: 100% Walla Walla Valley
- Oak Program: 100% French oak; 58% used oak, 42% new oak
- Time in Barrels: 17 months
- Harvest Date(s): September 16 through October 9, 2009
- Brix at Harvest: 25.8
- Finished Alcohol: 14.1% by volume
- Total Production: 731 cases (9L) & 25 cases of magnums
- Bottling Date: March 11, 2011
- Release Date: December 2, 2011
- Suggested Retail Price: $50.00
Nose: Cherry, black currant, blackberry pie filling, black pepper, dark chocolate and leather.
Taste: I get some kickin boysenberry, black cherry cola and smoked cedar up front, this is followed with notes of cassis, dark cocoa, black licorice and cigar. Really good mid palate transition with acid, fruit and tannin that combine in a way that tantilzes the your tastebuds. Lingering finish lasts for weeks.
W.E.P. Rating: 90%