2009 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot Indian Wells Vineyard

Year: 2009
Appellation: Columbia Valley
Country: USA - Washington
Wine Spectator: 88
Connoisseurs' Guide: 87
Red Wine
Price :
$12.95
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I FLIPPED OVER THIS EFFORT!! LOADS OF FRUIT NOT SEEN IN MERLOT IN YEARS! JUST AMAZING VALUE, TRUST ME!!- STEVE B.

"Light and silky, with pretty boysenberry and spice flavors that linger on the finish. Drink now. 65,000 cases made." (WS)

"If not one for drama and lacking the sheer richness of its high-ticket cousins, this nicely made Merlot is spot on in fruit and is at once both substantial and supple in feel. Its themes of black cherries persist past a bit of youthfully gruff tannin, and, if sure to be smoothed by service with a well-marbled rib eye, it is priceworthy wine that will surely improve with keeping. Reviewed: November 2011" (CG)

Winery Notes:
VINTAGE
The 2009 growing season was ideal with dry, warm weather and lots of sunshine. The season started a week late in blooming, but caught up as the perfect ripening weather lasted through September. The weather was not too hot, which allowed grapes to retain their natural acidity.

VINEYARDS
This Merlot is sourced predominately from vineyards throughout the Wahluke Slope in Washington state, including our Indian Wells Vineyard. Our most northern growing area, the Wahluke Slope is bordered on both the west and the south by the Columbia River. Indian Wells vineyard is a very warm site with a long growing season. The site’s loamy, sandy, well-draining soils allow vine growth to be meticulously controlled. The region is a consistent producer of high quality, ripe fruit, yielding wine with intense color and flavor.

WINEMAKING
Grapes were sorted using the winery’s new MOG (material other than grape) separator. This sorting process removes undesirable elements from the grapes resulting in richer, softer tannins and an overall better quality of wine. Gentle pumpovers were used to extract optimal flavor and color and minimize harsh tannins. The pumpovers can vary by block, tank and day of fermentation. Every ferment is tasted daily to evaluate the evolution of the tannins, modify extraction techniques and find the right moment to drain the wine off of its skins. Aged in 33% new American and 7% new French oak for 16 months. Frequent aerative racking took place during barrel aging to soften tannins and enhance mouthfeel.


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