We don't get much wine from Washington State in Montreal, so when my travels took me to Seattle I thought I'd sample some of the local offerings. Seattle's Tasting Room, located in the Pike Place market, had a quaint, but serious ambience - perfect for an extended stay, but I only had time to grab a few bottles and run....
The staff was rather busy serving tasting customers and didn't offer much assistance with the wines on offer, so I was left to random picks and some customer suggestions (lots of helpful winos there!). Tonight's Merlot made it into the bag as I have taken to buying wine in reverse order of alcohol content, and this 13.7% bottling was probably the lowest alcohol red in the shop (and conveniently selling at a large discount to the rest of the offerings).
The 2003 Wilridge Merlot Red Mountain Klipsun Vineyards was a wonderful surprise, with fresh, earthy fruit, green pepper, milk chocolate and cassis on the nose. Spicy, and a bit rough around the edges at first - a shag carpet of tannins - but it sorted itself out with some air. Smooth, balanced, a nice long finish...a lot of heart put into this. And this merlot did NOT taste 7 years old, still fresh and vibrant, it never got flabby. Cellarworthy? A rare question at this price point - wish I had some more to find out!
cork. 13.7% alcohol
Price: US$19 (Tasting Room Seattle)