Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Wine Review: Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2012

October is International Merlot Month thanks to MerlotMe.com!

NorthStar Columbia Valley Merlot 2012

I don't care what anybody says about Bordeaux or Napa or Chile; Washington State does the best Merlot in the world. You can quote me on that. And so for International Merlot Month we stay in the northwestern United States but head up to Washington's Columbia Valley with Northstar.

Northstar falls under the Ste. Michelle umbrella, and it was created for the sole purpose of making world class Merlot. They do make other varietals such as Cabernet and even Malbec, but their attention is focused on their flagship Columbia Valley and Walla Walla Merlots, as well as Merlot based blends.

I have here their 2012 Columbia Valley Merlot that retails for $41. The blend consists of 82% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot and has a 14.7% ABV. The fruit is purchased from the best possible sites in Columbia Valley under close working relationships with the growers to get exactly what they're looking for. This vintage comes from 10 different vineyards and 14 different blocks. 90% saw 18 months in French oak barrels, 55% of which were new.

Sleater-Kinney, All Hands on the Bad One
Washington being the source of so much great music, I had to make my soundtrack for the night by a band from the state. I decided it would be Sleater-Kinney's All Hands on the Bad One album, which came out 16 years ago. When I was 20. Shit. Time to slip into nostalgic memories of reckless pastimes.

The wine is a dark ruby in color. I quickly decided that it needed to breath, because the nose was nothing but pencil shavings and the palate was void of any flavor.

So I did some swirling, went to the kitchen to get myself a selection of cheese while shaking my booty to a rockin' girl band. Then I came back and did some more swirling and hanging out. The wine remained dull. I went ahead and actually wrote a full review of another Merlot. This one never came alive. Even the next day it remained uninterested and uncaring to human desire.

I'm sad to say that this review ends with my biggest fear as a blogger coming to fruition, and it's not the fault of the winemaker, the winery or anybody but Bacchus. The bottle I received was defective. There's none of that big, concentrated, dark fruit that should be there. There's nothing, and it's rather thin. This wine should be highly expressive and structured.

This is too sad. I can't even deal. Just don't talk to me. I need to be alone.

Price: $41

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.


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