ANVIL Merlot

2014 ANVIL Merlot


With drier harvest conditions and warmer than average temperatures in Eastern WA, the 2014 season experienced growing degree-day accumulations to record numbers. This allowed for a wonderful, though compressed harvest and the red grapes were deeply colored and full flavored.


Merlot is typically one of the first grapes to ripen, which can result in high sugar content. In a hot year like 2014, it is very important to have a later ripening site for Merlot to allow the fruit to gain additional flavors while keeping overall balance. This is one reason why Minnick Hills Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley is such a good site for growing Merlot.

$65 ($55.25)
  • Alcohol 14.8 % by volume
  • Aged 30 months
  • pH 3.87
  • TA 0.39 g/100ml
  • Barrel Program 5
  • Harvested Date October 2014
  • Barreled Date October 2014
  • Bottled Date May 2017
  • Released Date April 2018
  • Production 118 cases

In the vineyard

The south-facing slope, at 1150 ft elevation, is higher than most vineyards in Walla Walla, and perfectly suited to soaking up the warm sun while simultaneously drawing a welcoming breeze that creates good air circulation through the vines. The earth layers at Minnick Hills are a sought-after combination of Mt. Mazama volcanic ash content, with windblown loess; this provides deep, extremely well-drained soils. Good drainage means we don’t have to worry so much about an early frost, this allows for longer hang-time in the fall, giving the grapes time to fully ripen. The rich blackberry and dark cherry flavors and generous finish led us to reserve this exceptional small lot for our ANVIL program. 


Appellation Walla Walla Valley
Vineyard Minnick Hills Vineyard

In the cellar

To determine which wines become ANVIL, we blind taste to compare all of our vineyard lots, which are kept separate; blind tasting is best to avoid bias towards a given wine. We could tell early on that this was a wine worthy of ANVIL, with an abundance of flavors and a thick, mouth-coating density. 


Varietal 100% MERLOT

In the glass

Merlot benefits from the warm days and dry sandy conditions we have in Eastern Washington, it yields generous and velvety fruit that can rival the best Cabernets, without waiting an extra ten years for the wine to come around.


NOSE: white pepper, jammy fruit, boysenberry, wet stone


MOUTH: rich blackberry and dark cherry





The 100% Merlot from Minnick Hills Vineyard spent a full 30 months in new French oak. Deep purple in color with a big, unctuous bouquet of black currants, graphite, and chocolate, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, rounded, sweet tannin, a big mid-palate, and a great finish. Ripe, sexy, and ready to go, drink it over the coming 7-8 years.
Jeb Dunnuck
April 2018
This 100% varietal wine brings graphite, cherry, cassis, vanilla and spice aromas. The palate shows depth and concentration, with rich yet restrained flavors backed by velvety tannins. Give it time to open up.
Sean Sullivan
Wine Enthusiast
Deep ruby colored, this Merlot possesses an intriguing nose of raspberry, blackberry, Bing cherry, crushed roses, mulberry, tobacco and incense. The medium bodied flavors mirror the aromatics with generous, fleshy, yet focused, dark fruits that are endowed with licorice, Swiss chocolate, French roast and silty minerals. The back reveals sensations of macerated berries, roasted nuts, framboise and kirsch liqueurs, integrated oak (100% new French) and graphite, followed by a lingering, ripe slightly grainy tannin finish. As a fine rendition of Walla Walla Valley Merlot, this gets a plus. 19+/20 points
Rand Sealey


We’re so happy you like this wine!
Copy and paste this URL to a safe place so you can reference it later.
{{ isopenloveTitle }}
Copy and paste this URL to a safe place so you can reference it later.
{{ sharethisobj.title }}
Forgeron Cellars Mailing List
  • "Email" is required
  • Invalid email
  • "First Name" is required
  • "Last name" is required
  • "State" is required
  • "City" is required