Mercer Merlot Horse Heaven Hills 2015
Notes of blackberry and strawberry preserves combine with undertones of lavender, roasted coffee and fennel. This big, bold Merlot will pair with many dishes and has amazing aging potential.
The fruit for this wine is grown at our acclaimed Spice Cabinet Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills. This vineyard sits on a southeast slope above the Columbia River. The orientation of the block allows for morning sun exposure of the fruit, while avoiding the intense afternoon rays.
The 2015 vintage was the hottest year on record and began with a moderate winter that lead into a warm spring and very hot summer. The warm spring resulted in an early bloom, which caused veraison to occur 2-3 weeks earlier than normal causing harvest to begin 2 weeks ahead of schedule. The heatwave finally tapered off at the end of August, giving us warm days and cool nights which created the perfect conditions for great fruit flavor development. The cool nights maintained the bright natural acidity in the grapes, resulting in balanced wines with concentrated fruit.
These grapes were double sorted, first in the vineyard with the selective harvest on our Pel/enc harvesters, then again at the winery on our sorting table. The fruit was not crushed in order to preserve as much whole-berry as possible. At the winery, individual lots were fermented in stainless steel tanks. Twice daily pumpovers allowed gentle extraction of color and tannins. After draining the wine and pressing the skins, the wine was racked to neutral barrels and allowed to age for 20 months.
APPELATION: Horse Heaven Hills
BLEND: 99% Merlot, 1% Syrah
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