2006 Columbia Valley Merlot
Washington: Columbia Valley
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Mission Codename: Delight in Wine
Operative: Agent Whine
Objective: Secure a delicious and budget oriented wine from Washington’s Columbia Valley.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Revelry Vintners
Wine Subject: 2006 Columbia Valley Merlot
Winemaker: Jared Burns
The Columbia Valley is the largest appellation in Washington state and completely contains both the Yakima (as well as the city of Yakima) and Walla Walla Valleys. Located inland on a plateau of undulating hills and valleys and given is dry climate (nearly 300 days of sunshine per year) and northern latitude has nearly two hours more sun per day during the summer than Napa Valley. The region is known for growing excellent Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and, as in today’s wine, Merlot.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Translucent purple with orange and brick hues and excellent clarity. Ruby and pink hues along the edges with fast thin tears that race down the glass when swirled.
Smell – Medium intensity with aromas of black-cherry and other dark berries, fresh-cut new oak, and hints of savory spice. Earthy notes and a touch of herbal blackcurrant leaf and green pepper add to the complexity of this wine’s nose.
Feel – Smooth and dry, this medium-to-full bodied wine has well balanced medium firm tannins and easy acidity.
Taste – Ripe and tart black-cherry leads off, with a touch of other dark and black-fruit that are pleasantly layered over a touch of toasted oak and dark chocolate/mocha. As you explore this wine flavors of spices and herbal components are also revealed.
Finish – Medium in length and clean with lingering flavors of soft ripe fruit, spice and oak.
Conclusion – The 2006 Revelry Columbia Valley Merlot is a delicious wine at an exceptional price. Easy to drink but with aromas and flavors that are well integrated and surprising complete for a wine of this price.
Wine and winemaking is a craft, tradition, skill and art that dates back centuries and through those centuries much has changed, but for the most part, the end product has remained relatively consistent. Grapes left to ferment and then age in barrels taste good, often times really good. No mystery here. One of the challenges that has persisted, however, is maintaining quality and purity so that the end result wine is well preserved, allowing us to transport, store and then serve great wines with some degree of predictability at our daily celebrations.
Farming techniques and bio-technology has allowed us to make better vines and better resulting fruit. Winemaking and chemistry has improved so we can ensure a more stable process. Technology has improved and thus the wine in the bottle has improved. It used to be a rule of thumb that one in every ten bottles was somehow tainted, now tainted bottles are extremely rare. (I experience a tainted bottle about one in every 25-30, a two-to-three fold improvement). It happens, no point in assigning blame, just set the bottle aside for salad vinegar and open another bottle.
It is in the light of celebrating those improvements in winemaking that we bring you today’s selection from Revelry Vintners. Based in the Walla Walla Valley in Washington’s Columbia Valley AVA, Revelry is at the forefront of one piece of the technology game. Jared Burns, winemaker at Revelry, is the son of the person who invented the synthetic cork wine closure (no family pressure here) and in addition to a passion for great wines, Jared and friends are committed to providing an exceptional product, superb value and innovative packaging that ensures you are getting the best of what revelry and Jared produce.
Today’s 2005 Columbia Valley Merlot is packaged in a traditional bottle, but be sure to check out Revelry’s unique Reserve Cask System. Unique yes, and when you taste the wine, we are sure you’ll agree that they have accomplished their goals.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Revelry Vintners in Walla Walla, Washington can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
If you’ve ever relaxed in a cozy chair, you know what this Merlot is all about: Soft, smooth, and luxuriously deep, with flavors of blueberry and black cherry supported by subtle suggestions of oak and spice.
Washington state’s Columbia Valley yields some of the most flavorful full-bodied red wines in the world. Our Merlot encompasses everything we love about this grape. Featuring fruit from some of the warmer sites in the state, this Merlot is a ripe balance of body and tannins. The fruit from this region is wonderfully balanced – just right for crafting young drinkable wines.
About The Winery:
Revelry Vintners is a Washington State winery rethinking the crafting and enjoyment of fine wine. As a progressive producer of premium wines, highlighting the viticultural movement and dynamic quality of Washington State’s Columbia Valley, Revelry is a winery building a tradition of excellence.
Innovators to the core, all Revelry Vintners’ wine is available first in our patent-pending, proprietary, Reserve Cask, keeping the wines cellared and poured fresh for more than 30 days after opening.
Revelry started as kitchen-table conversation; from an appreciation for wines of incredible quality, and of reasonable price. The combination of an award-winning tradition, and a technically perfect delivery system, makes Revelry the ultimate value proposition.
About The Winemaker:
Jared is not new to the wine industry. The son of a pioneering entreprenuer, and inventor of the synthetic cork wine closure, Jared grew up in a household passionate about wine. Drawing on his father’s pioneering spirit, Jared’s passion for wine intensified while attending Whitman College in the heart of Washington State’s wine country.
After college Jared first pursued another nagging interest in the sports industry, heading up the product development categories of Football and Baseball for a leading international sporting goods manufacturer. With a jump into the wine industry looming in the back of his mind, Jared’s restless nature won out, and in 2006 Revelry Vintners was born.
Drawing on his love of wine and cooking, Jared enveloped himself in the craft of winemaking. While not to be outdone by family history and an inventive spirit, Jared simultaneously designed and developed the flagship packaging system used by Revelry Vintners-the Reserve Cask System-to ensure that every glass of Revelry wine is poured fresh.
Having realized his true passion, Jared remains Winemaker of Revelry Vintners, leading the charge in building a winery known for quality and unprecedented value.
Appellation: Columbia Valley
Blend: 100% Merlot
Production: August ’08