December 2020 Wine Club Red

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(This month’s wines are from Washington as we continue to support our western states after their disastrous summer and fall of heat and fire damage.)

2016 SEVEN HILLS WALLA WALLA MERLOT

Seven Hills founder Casey McClellan was born into a farming family in Eastern Washington. He and Vicky, his wife, began to develop an interest in wine and decided to establish a vineyard on their family farm in the Walla Walla Valley. A cycling trip through Europe further inspired them as they saw wine and vineyards as an important, vital part of small-town agricultural life. In the early 80s the McClellans planted 21 acres of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1984 Walla Walla Valley was officially designated as a wine growing region and Seven Hills Winery was established in 1988.

The 2016 Merlot is a blend of 85% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc. In 2016, very warm growing conditions produced small berries with opulent fruit framed by a frim tannin structure.

This wine was fermented in small, open-top fermenters and aged for 16 months in French, American and European oak.

The winemakers’ notes on this wine say, “This wine presents all the classic attributes we look for in Washington Merlot: lush and ripe fruit, a balanced and succulent palate, and a friendly accessibility. We also blend in a small amount of Cabernet Franc to accentuate the floral notes and bring an intriguing undertone of tobacco and brown leaf. This wine is soft, with a berry palate of strawberry, black plum and spice with a juicy, firm finish.”

The 2016 vintage gets 90 plus points from Wine Enthusiast, Decanter, and James Suckling.

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This post was written by SFW&S