The 2016 growing season started fast and furious with an early bud break and we expected a repeat of 2015, the warmest vintage on record for Washington State. Thankfully, temperatures dropped in early June and through the rest of the summer.The result was a pretty much average vintage, with ample hanging time for our fruit. Across the board, we are thrilled with the quality of our 2016 wines, with the common thread being balance, structure and moderation. These wines hit all cylinders!
The Birch Creek Merlot was first to come in and provides the backbone and structure in addition to bold, blackberry notes. Minnick Hills sits at a higher elevation and with well-drained soils and great canopy for sun-protection, we allow the fruit to hang for longer and ripen to perfection. Merlot is extremely well suited for WA state, it is an early ripener that loves the sun and will get big, smooth tannins and loads of dark and red berry flavors. It might ripen at the same time as the Chardonnay and is typically the first of our red grapes to be ready for harvest.
The 2014 growing season began with budbreak and flowering ten days to two weeks earlier than average. An early, warm spring, and near record-breaking heat in July and early August were followed by the usual cooler weather in September which provided a much-needed reprieve.
Our Merlot from Minnick Hills was harvested with the vineyard in mind. Capturing the vineyard’s attributes relies on skillful farming techniques and is accentuated with the elegant winemaking technique here at Forgeron. The touch of oak combined with the freshness of this Merlot creates a soft and soothing wine. We are always so excited every year to see what Minnick Hills has in store for us.
Balanced acid-to-fruit tannin ratio, mouth-coating, delicious.
NOSE: plum, dried rose petals
MOUTH: pomegranate, plum, rose hips, baking chocolate
FOOD & WINE PAIRING: lamb stew, shepherd’s pie