Northstar Merlot 2011 (Columbia Valley, Washington)

Northstar Merlot 2011
(Columbia Valley, Washington)

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Notes from the Winemaker:

The 2011 vintage experienced cool temperatures during spring which delayed bud break and bloom by three to four weeks. Consistently warm summer temperatures lengthened the ripening period resulting in harvest starting three weeks later than normal. Without the growing season’s typical temperature spikes that surpass 100 degrees Fahrenheit, grapes ripened very evenly with the required sugar levels and ideal physiological maturity.

Diversity of vineyards and sub-appellations within the Columbia Valley are Northstar’s hallmarks. Fruit is selected from the very best possible sources throughout the Columbia Valley. Winemaker David “Merf” Merfeld works closely with each grower to achieve specific fruit quality and yield parameters. Vines average 15 years old and yield grapes with concentrated varietal flavors of cherry and plum with elegant tannins. Fruit from more than 10 separate vineyards and 14 different blocks contributed to the blend.

Tasting Notes:
“The 2011 vintage has rich concentrated aromas of cherry, raspberry and chocolate that lead into flavors of cinnamon and vanilla. It is a subtle and soft with a lingering toasted oak finish. This wine was created to enjoy now, or for many years to come as it will age gracefully. Enjoy!”

Ratings & Reviews

Wine Spectator Magazine:

"Vibrant and open-textured, with fine tannins around a supple core of black cherry and meaty flavors, dancing deftly through the finish. Drink now through 2018. 8,045 cases made." - HS (Web Only - 2015)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
"The 2011 Columbia Valley Merlot is slightly simple, with light plum and black cherry fruit, green herbs, menthol and floral notes. Medium-bodied, juicy and balanced, drink it over the coming 7-8 years. The blend here is 78% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot that spent 18 months in roughly 54% new French oak." - Jeb Dunnuck (28th Jun 2015)

Wine Enthusiast Magazine:
"This cool-vintage wine offers restrained notes of toast, dried herbs, vanilla, mocha and blueberry. It's lighter in style than recent vintages, with tart fruit flavors backed by grainy tannins." - Sean P. Sullivan (5/1/2015)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (2010 vintage):
"(blended with 18% cabernet sauvignon and 4% petit verdot; aged in a 95/5 combination of French and American oak, 57% new): Bright medium red-ruby. Aromas of black raspberry, cassis, licorice, brown spices and menthol. Juicy, intense and tightly wound, showing a distinctly serious structure for merlot. The dark berry and licorice flavors show their cabernet and petit verdot components on the cool, medicinal, youthfully hard-edged finish. The dusty tannins here need time to harmonize. -Stephen Tanzer (Nov/ Dec 2013)

92 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (2009 Vintage):

"The 2009 Merlot Columbia Valley (81% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot) is easily the largest production release from this estate, with over 8,000 cases produced. Aged in 95% French and 5% American oak, 57% being new, for 18 months, it offers a beautiful bouquet of black cherry, red currants, underbrush and toast as well as a perfectly balanced, silky and elegant feel in the mouth. Leaning heavily towards to finesse driven side of the spectrum, with silky tannin, medium body and moderate concentration, it will evolve gracefully for upwards of a decade. Drink now-2022." -Jeb Dunnuck (June 2013)

92 Points - Wine Enthusiast (2009 Vintage):

"The vines from which the fruit for this wine were sourced are, on average, 15 years old. Aged primarily in French oak, this concentrated wine shows fine depth, with an emphasis on black cherry and cassis flavors. Full and ripe, this well-structured effort has the balance and polished tannins to be cellared for a decade, at least." -Paul Gregutt (4/1/2013)

91 Points - Wine Spectator (2009 Vintage):

"Firm and peppery, with a strong black pepper note running through the dark berry and currant fruit, all of it persisting in a harmonious package and scratchy tannins that need time to soften. Drink now through 2017. 8,000 cases made." -HS (Online Only 2013)