2016 Lady Hill Merlot, Columbia Valley
You likely won’t find another Merlot from three such dynamic Washington vineyards. Purity of fruit and mineral, herbaceous and elegant, plush and powerful; three very different manifestations of the same cultivar are rolled into this offering.
A moderate winter in Eastern Washington provided an early push into this vintage, with bloom and bud break 2 weeks ahead of historical averages. Everyone braced for another hot vintage, but Bacchus and mother nature had other ideas. A June cool down persisted throughout the summer; with increased plantings, monstrous cluster and berry size, 2016 produced one of the heaviest crops ever in the state. Despite challenges, quality remained very high, lingering summer temperatures allowed plenty of hangtime to ripen flavors to match winemaking style.
Maroon, mahogany hues, plump, luscious berry notes and dark plum ooze, supported by a little vanilla bean and butterscotch. Herbaceous highlights of tobacco leaf and fennel add complexity. A sweet start, weighted but balanced mid to finish, with a juicy, lingering finish.
Shepherd’s pie, grilled lamb burgers and roasted vegetables with fresh herbs
Vineyard: Red Willow Vineyard (42%), Slide Mountain Vineyard (29%), Tapteil Vineyard (29%)
Varietals: 100% Merlot