We've been enjoying Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot since the 1995 vintage (see Journal Notes Index), it is one of our consistent perennial favorite wines, the 2007 Columbia Valley Northstar Merlot does it again and is among the best we've tasted.
Inky purple color, full bodied, concentrated, bright and vibrant, aromas and flavors of plum and black fruits accented by a predominant layer of chocolate and toffee. A slight astringency that will likely burn off with some age gives way to firm tannins on a lingering finish of oak and spice.
Winemaker's notes sum it up well - "Concentrated yet elegant, transparent dark ruby color; lovely nose of dark fruit, some vanilla, and chocolate; rich, concentrated but controlled dark fruit (blackberries, purple plums), a savory note, a touch of spearmint, lots of sweet chocolate, and seriously crunchy tannins for balance; long, tangy, tannic finish, with tobacco, ending finally with blackberries and plums."
This could easily pass for a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon with its complexity, big forward fruit and firm backbone of tannins - this is not a wimpy merlot. wine. Reminiscent of earlier Northstars at their best. Perfect compliment and stood up very well indeed to a beef tenderloin au poivre dinner with sweet corn, twice baked potato and a double chocolate desert.
This wine used to be priced in the $40 range and in recent years has been available at $30 resulting in this wine being a good value with a high QPR (quality to price ratio).
Blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petit Verdot.
RM 92 points. Wine Advocate 92 points, Wine Spectator 91 points.
P.S. This was so good I went back to buy more and found the 2008 vintage in its place. Check out the follow-on comparison tasting of the Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2008 compared to this 2007.