Wine Review: 2007 Mercer Columbia Valley Merlot

19 06 2011

Special delivery from the tasty factory.

Right after reviewing a wine (the 2007 Amavi Syrah) that was identical to one reviewed previously but for the vintage, tonight I’m tackling a wine that’s identical to a prior review but for the grape.  I reviewed the 2007 Mercer Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at the end of March, and tonight I stick with the same vintage (2007), the same producer (Mercer) and the same subregion (Columbia Valley in Washington State), but I’m subbing out one full-bodied red (Cab) for another (Merlot).  As I look back on my previous Mercer review, it strikes me how similarly these two wines have been put together; both are built to pop, pour and enjoy in the near term, with big accessible fruit and no hard edges, and both are ripe, friendly and easy to drink.  Both are also a direct shipment from the tasty factory — they’re absolutely delicous, the Merlot even more so than the Cab.  I bought this wine over the weekend from Highlander Wine & Spirits because it was crazily on sale:  half off normal retail price at $20!  It’s one of my rules in life not to turn down Washington State wine when it’s 50% off…I’m principled that way. Read the rest of this entry »





Wine Review: 2005 Woodward Canyon Merlot

7 04 2011

Ever watched a movie where only the first half hour was good?

I’ve been trying to drink a little more Merlot.  It’s one of the best known and most classic grape varietals in the world, and it’s responsible for some of the most famous, memorable and expensive wines out there, but compared to Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah I drink relatively little of it, especially in unblended form.  When I found out that my new wine region man-crush, Washington State, was well known for its high-quality Merlots, I decided to dive in, and I scooped this 2005 Columbia Valley Merlot from an iconic Washington producer, Woodward Canyon.  It was on the pricier end of the wines I usually buy ($30-$40), but being from a pioneer of red wine in this area, I figured it was worth a shot. Read the rest of this entry »





Wine Review: 2007 Mercer Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

30 03 2011

Beige label, non-beige wine.

Another day, another journey to what is rapidly becoming my favourite New World wine region, Washington State.  Today was one of those days where work was busy, I hit a traffic jam on the way home, the baby wouldn’t sleep, and I didn’t get to sit down to have dinner until almost 8:00; by that time, all I wanted with my meal was a welcoming, easygoing, easy-drinking (no more beer commercial adjectives, I swear) wine, a leather armchair by a fireplace in a glass.  That’s exactly what I got with this Mercer Cabernet. Read the rest of this entry »





Wine Review: 2005 Amavi Cellars Syrah

17 03 2011

You had me at "Syrah".

This.  Wine.  Is.  AWESOME.

I promised a winner from Washington in my next review, and I have delivered and then some.  There are lots of good wines out there, but to me a great wine is one that keeps you coming back to the glass for each new sip or sniff wondering what you’re going to find next.  Great wines have depth, complexity and an interest factor, something compelling that latches onto you and won’t let go.  This wine is great. Read the rest of this entry »





Wine Review: 2004 Leonetti Cellar Merlot

11 03 2011

A Washington Classic

A year ago, I had never tried a wine from Washington State.  Now I actively try to seek them out whenever I can, and with every new bottle I become increasingly impressed with their quality, consistency and complexity.  Washington wines aren’t bombastic or over the top like so many examples from California or Australia, but they aren’t as austere and unyielding as many European wines; they are a perfect middle ground between New and Old World sensibilities, and they deserve more attention than they get.  As a result, I was quite excited to get a chance to try this back vintage wine from one of the pioneers of the Washington wine scene:  Leonetti Cellar. Read the rest of this entry »








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