One of the best Merlots coming out of Washington, the 2014 Merlot Northridge Vineyard shows a gorgeous spice, dried violet, cassis and graphite character, a full-bodied, seamless and elegant personality as well as thrilling purity and class. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years.
- 94 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Generous as it comes. Showing a pedigree of cedar, pencil lead, dark cherry and scorched earth. Deep as deep can be. Saturating and unctuous. A wine that unfolds the story that is Washington Merlot.
Vintage and Winemaker Notes
2014 had an early spring and a wonderful, long summer with cool nights to help maintain great acidity in the grapes. Going into the Fall, temperatures cooled down quite a bit throughout the state, and we were able to hang the fruit for a long period of time before harvest. This combination allowed us to develop more complex flavors, while still maintaining the acidity to produce bright, focused wines.
The vineyards we work with are farmed using the most up to date sustainable practices. Northridge Vineyard: (100%) Loamy, ne sand over silica limestone, these ancient soils above the Missoula Flood plain are some of the best to grow fruit. This site is higher elevation and has cooler evenings, which creates later ripening, lots of minerality and concentration.
The original thought was to be a one wine brand, with a single minded vision to produce the best value-priced Cabernet Sauvignon in America. How do you go about this? Traditional winemaking. Natural fermentations. Barrel-aging. Plus, bottling unfiltered and unfined. In essence, making the wines in small batch winemaking integrity, but doing so on a larger scale. The wine is black. The label definitively says, “This is Cabernet Sauvignon.” With the CS, you know who made this wine: Charles Smith. There is also the single vineyard, single expression, Bordeaux varietals (ex: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) produced in very limited quantities. This is the newest chapter in the history books of Charles Smith and his wines.
Blend: 100% Merlot
Appellation: Wahluke Slope
Production Yield: 2.0 tons per acre
100% whole berry fermentation
43 days on skins
50% new French oak barriques, 21 months barrel-aged on lees
Charles Smith is the only person to have received Winemaker of the Year distinctions by both Wine Enthusiast (2014) and Food & Wine (2009). In 2008, K Vintners was recognized by Wine & Spirits magazine as one of the “Best New Wineries of the Last Ten Years,” and as “Winery of the Year” in their annual buying guide. His wines continue to receive broad recognition from leading wine publications such as Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and Wine & Spirits with 98 scores of 95 points and above, and 386 scores of 90 points and above.
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FedEx Ground: Monday, August 20th - Wednesday, August 22nd
@PatrickKarcher Yikes, no one from Northern Virginia wants in on this? Anyone? 3 bottles? I just got the word from an expert on Washington wine, who gets fantastic deals, who is a ‘special secret customer’ all over because he drops a lot on wine (for himself and friends, but also high-end charity events), that this wine at this price, considerately delivered, cannot be beat. He told me to Do This. But I need some help!
NEO crew, checking to see if anyone might be interested in this? We have a friend in MI and can get a case. We’re only looking to keep 3 bottles, so thought I’d check the pulse on interest for a split.
I tasted in the tasting room, but I have no notes. I have a bottle in my cellar, so I guess we liked it at club prices and that matches my memory. If anyone in the Seattle area wants to split, I’d be in for 2 or 3 bottles.
I was the lucky recipient of a Lab Rat sample. The accompanying email said this would release 8/1 so I opened it with only a few hours rest (not really fair to the wine).
Restrained nose, a bit tense on the palate but puts the Sideways simperers to shame. Reminded me of a big Pomerol.
Tasted again the next day. Good nose, milk chocolate notes with hints of apple pie spice (wife’s comment --has the best palate). Much more New World style today. Can’t comment on value for money, not familiar w/Washington State fine wine prices…