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 2020 Reserve Merlot

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2020 Reserve Merlot

 2020 Reserve Merlot
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Tasting Notes

Our 2020 Reserve Merlot is a medium-bodied wine that embodies the classic essence of the varietal. It boasts an abundance of dark fruit aromas, including blackberry, cassis, and black cherry, which are complemented by layers of roasted fig and smoked caramel. The palate shows weight, finesse in structure, soft tannins, and balanced acidity. Flavors of plum jam and sweet cocoa are layered with nuances of freshly roasted espresso. The finish is long-lasting, accentuating the wine’s structure, and leaves lingering notes of smoked cedar and dark berries on the palate.


91 Points, Paul Gregutt
91 Points, Wine Enthusiast
90 Points, Jeb Dunnuk (2021)

Vineyard Designation

100% Estate Grown

Vintage Notes

The 2020 vintage was remarkable due to an exceptional growing season characterized by mild winter, warm spring, and moderate summer, leading to an early bud break and veraison. However, wildfires in the Northwest created smoke concerns, prompting a delayed harvest and smoke exposure trials, which ultimately revealed no smoke taint in the grapes. Additionally, there was an early frost in October, but most of the harvest was completed by then, with the remaining grapes carefully hand-picked and sorted with an optical sorter. In the end, the 2020 vintage yielded wines with abundant ripe fruit aromas, low tannins, and balanced finishes, making it a successful year for the vineyard.

Winemaking Notes

Our 2020 Reserve Merlot was sourced from some of our estate vineyard’s best Merlot blocks and carefully crafted to emphasize quality. The vineyard management included reducing crop load to enhance grape intensity and ripeness. The grapes were harvested in early October, destemmed but not crushed, and sorted using our optical sorter before fermentation. Extraction techniques are used during fermentation to create a bold, structured, and elegant wine. Extraction methods are initially aggressive, followed by a gentler approach to avoid excessive tannins. After alcoholic fermentation, the wine underwent malolactic fermentation followed by lees stirring for four months to enhance texture and mouthfeel. Aging occurred in French oak barrels, with 77% new oak, for approximately 22 months before bottling.

Food Pairing

Grilled Lamb Chops with Fresh Herbs
Beef Tenderloin and Grilled Vegetables
Roasted Chicken or Duck
Gruyere or Cantalet

  • Varietal Composition: Merlot
  • Appellation: Yakima Valley
  • Aging / Barrel Program: 22 Months in 100% French Oak (77% New, 23% 1-3 Year)
  • Cases Produced: 273 Cases
  • Alcohol: 14.4
  • pH: 3.82
  • Acidity: 5.8g/L TA
  • Ageability: Enjoy now through 2039, with optimal maturity in 2033.

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