The 2012 vintage was a return to the “classic” Washington growing conditions and a much welcomed change from the cooler 2010 and 2011 vintages. Bud break started slightly earlier than normal but cooler temperatures through the early summer delayed veraison slightly. A warming trend began in late July and dry conditions through mid-October were ideal for fruit ripening.
Diversity of vineyards and sub-appellations within the Columbia Valley are Northstar’s hallmarks. Fruit is selected from the very best possible sources throughout the Columbia Valley. Winemaker David “Merf ” Merfeld works closely with each grower to achieve specific fruit quality and yield parameters. Vines average 15 years old and yield grapes with concentrated varietal flavors of cherry and plum with elegant tannins. Fruit from more than 10 separate vineyards and 14 different blocks contributed to the blend.
At harvest, grapes were destemmed and crushed with 40% whole berries remaining. Grapes fermented on the skins for five to seven days with daily punch downs to extract flavor, colors and fine tannins. The wine was placed into 90% French oak barrels of which 55% was new oak. The wine aged for 18 months with racking occurring at three month intervals.
The 2012 vintage has rich concentrated aromas of cherry, raspberry and chocolate that lead into flavors of cedar and vanilla with a lingering toasted oak finish. This highly structured wine was created to enjoy now, or for many years to come as it will age gracefully. Enjoy! – David “Merf” Merfeld, Winemaker
16% Cabernet Sauvignon
2% Petit Verdot
- Total Acidity: 0.58g/100ml
- ** Only 2 in Stock **
The deep ruby colored Columbia Valley 2012 Merlot is a full-bodied, elegant, perfumed Merlot that gives up lots of cassis, sweet oak, black cherry and a touch of crushed rock in the hallmark elegant, balanced style of this estate. The tannin is present, yet ripe, and it has enough concentration to keep for a decade or more. - Robert Parker 91 Points
The cocoa, cherry, raspberry and toast aromas bring plenty of appeal. The flavors deliver richness but without excessive weight. - Wine Enthusiast Magazine 91 Points
Bright ruby-red. Aromas of cassis, black cherry, bitter chocolate, licorice and wild herbs. At once sweet and savory, offering a plush, fine-grained texture and a faintly herbal edge to the youthfully medicinal flavors of dark berries and spices. Finishes with firm, slightly dry-edged tannins and good lift. Needs a couple of years to harmonize. - Stephen Tanzer 89+? Points
Smooth and inviting, with refreshing berry and spice flavors on a sleek frame, and a hint of peppermint on the easygoing finish. Drink now through 2018. 12,240 cases made.–HS - Wine Spectator Magazine 87 Points