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88 points - “ ” Wine Enthusiast - December 31, 2012
Toasty and firm, this substantial Merlot is based in powerful cassis flavor, with muscular tannins and a solid foundation of earth and extract.
WTOP.com - December 14, 2012
Most people have it in their head that Merlot is a non-quality grape. This couldn’t be further from the truth. California still grows Merlot in it’s top wine producing regions but use most of it for blending purposes, almost hiding Merlot from standing alone. One region has done the opposite the past few decades and has embraced Merlot as a regional wine, Washington state. The marriage between Washington state and Merlot is a perfect one. Most believed Washington could not become a high quality wine producing region due to it’s cold climate, but with days filled with sunshine and great soil for wine-making, Washington state has become a major region producing great white wine and supple reds. Merlots from Washington state struggle to grow through the volcanic and glacial soils, this struggle is a good thing when it comes to wine growing. Along with the warm sunny days and cool nights, winemakers turn these Merlot grapes into bold lush wines that can stand up to a California cab any day of the week. From Chateau St Michelle’s Indian wells vineyard this Merlot offers a fantastic full-bodied wine that will pair nicely with any pasta dish or grilled meats.
Wines Northwest - November 16, 2012
Chateau Ste. Michelle winemaker Bob Bertheau added 14% Syrah to Merlot from the Wahluke Slope area to “enhance the mouthfeel and fruit character.” The result is a Merlot with more of an edge than many others, offering deep flavors of cherry, pomegranate, plum and vanilla. Bertheau’s go-to cuisine for the wine is hearty pasta with rich sauces, and I would add meaty sausages and mushroom spaetzle.
“Merlots Worth Drinking” The Wall Street Journal - October 19, 2012
The best surprises of all were from Washington—from the bargain-priced 2009 Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells...
“American Value Red” Wine Spectator - October 15, 2012