Coming from the estate Loess, Seven Hills and Mill Creek Upland vineyards in Walla Walla, the 2011 Merlot is a superb, plush and yet gorgeously elegant and detailed effort that boasts knockout aromatics of spring flowers, black cherry, plum, licorice and dusty mineral on the nose. Already complex and approachable, it nevertheless has full-bodied richness on the palate, as well as a supple, mouth-filling texture, juicy acidity and no hard edges. Drink it over the coming decade. Drink now-2023. (JD)
(aged in about one-third new oak): Good deep red with ruby highlights. Sweet aromas of cassis, licorice, bitter chocolate, cocoa powder and spicecake. Sweet, suave and lush; wonderfully pliant for 2011. Really saturates the palate with dark berry, dark chocolate and spice flavors. Finishes impressively broad and fine-grained, with ripe, mouthcoating tannins and outstanding length. A very fine and thoroughly satisfying Washington Merlot. (ST)
*Cellar Selection* This is 100% varietal Merlot, aged 15 months in new and neutral French oak barrels and botti. It’s tangy, sleek and supple, with a spectrum of fruit from cranberry on through blackberry. Tannins are polished and mouth-coating, with substantial power. The finish brings hints of herbs and black olives. (PG)
Firm in texture, showing pepper and licorice flavors at first, followed by plum and currant fruit that fills in the taut frame. Needs time to soften and unfurl. (HS)
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