I've enjoyed most Washington state wines I've tried, so it was fun to get samples from a producer and area that I wasn't familiar with, Mercer Estates. Five generations of the Mercer family have farmed the Horse Heaven Hills, home to 25% of Washington state's wine grapes. They now have 2,000 acres of vineyards that go into 3 tiers of wine, along with a micro label that is dedicated solely to charity (proceeds go to support people who have suffered from events connected to 9/11). Their wines are produced from premium grapes grown throughout the Horse Heaven Hills (primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Mourvedre, Malbec, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot and Grenache), Yakima Valley (primarily Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris) and the greater Columbia Valley. The Mercers have a strong focus on sustainability, with an emphasis on 5 areas: water management; soil and fertility management; integrated pest management; waste management; and research, community support and leadership.
Mercer Estates Reserve Ode to Brothers 2011:
Mercer Canyons Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2012:40% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre - Grenache and Mourvèdre from Mercer Estates Spice Cabinet Vineyard, Syrah from Champoux Vineyard; undergoes malolactic fermentation and 28 months of aging in French and American oak barrels; opaque purple color; a meaty and smoky wine that almost feels like you could chew it - great fruit balanced with tannins and acidity; SRP $42.
Mercer Yakima Valley Pinot Gris 2013:77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 1% Malbec,1% Petit Verdot; individual lots fermented in stainless steel tanks; aged in French and American oak barrels for 18 months; deep purple color; dark fruit, currant, and vanilla aromas; dark fruit, mocha, baking spices, and earth flavors; decent acidity and tannins mean this should drink well for at least a few more years; 13.9% ABV; twist-off closure; SRP $16.99.
Grapes harvested in the early morning, pressed, then settled for 2 days prior to racking; cool fermented for 22 days; light straw in color; lemon, subtle tropical fruit, and white floral aromas; melon, starfruit, and Meyer lemon flavors; velvety mouthfeel with a bracing acidity making itself known throughout; 13.3% ABV; twist-off closure; SRP $13. A lovely wine that is as food friendly as they come - I drank this with a beef Alfredo pasta dish with sweet corn as well as spicy sausage pizza the next night.
These wines were provided for review purposes - all opinions are my own.
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