If you aren’t drinking Merlot, you are missing out. Especially one produced with the care and quality that winemaker David “Merf” Merfeld brings to each of his Northstar wines from Washington’s Walla Walla and Columbia Valley region. When everyone else pulled back on the production of Merlot, Washington embraced it. With dozens of different soils types throughout the state, particularly within Columbia Valley where the Missoula Floods washed over the region hundreds of years ago, leaving wind-blown silt and sand, ideal for growing highly aromatic Merlot. Add hot sunshine-filled days, little rainfall, a variety of elevations, and you are set up for greatness.
The key to all Northstar wines is the blend. Though Merlot is the star, the wine always brings in complementary Bordeaux varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc, rounding out the wine, giving enhanced structure, flavor, and character. The result, a harmonious, luscious, layered wine with finesse, Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot ($41) opens with floral and berry aromas of wildflower, ripe cherry, blackberry, and plum, followed by toasted cedar, spice, black fruit, and dark chocolate flavors. A wine that can easily be enjoyed upon release, but will age beautifully. We enjoyed the 2013 Northstar the other evening, which was delicious now, but could easily have rested in the bottle a bit more. #Cheers