Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2009
According to my Wine Tasting Journal Index of US Northwest wines, we've enjoyed Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot and have published tasting notes since the 1995 vintage. We have a vertical collection of about ten vintages in the cellar, so we picked up the new 2009 release upon first sighting to try. It is a blend of fruit sourced from a multitude off growers' 10 separate vineyards and 14 different blocks from vines averaging 15 years old .
Merlot is the core of Right Bank Bordeaux blends and on the Left Bank is a key component added to Cabernet Sauvignon for breadth and depth in the blend.
While not a fruit bomb, this was rich and concentrated black berry, black cherry and plum fruits with a layer of vanilla, mocha and hint of maple flavors on the finish. This is one of the more flavorful and expressive of Northstars in memory.
A bit softer and more approachable than bigger more structured Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots such as this are pleasant easy drinking with artisan cheese, fruit and chocolate, and of course they also go great with grilled steak!
At a pricepoint of around $26-28, this represents a good value high QPR (quality price ratio) selection for drinking now through the next ten years.
RM 89 points.