Wine Advocate 91 points - Northstar’s very diversely sourced Columbia Valley 2008 Merlot - blended with a (for this bottling) typical 18% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot - delivers invigoratingly tart- and bitter-edged cassis and huckleberry medicinally mingled with green herbal concentrates, iodine and salt. Grainy tannin is assuaged by the wine’s worthy sense of primary juiciness, leading to an energetically sustained finish. This ought to serve well for at least another couple of years. (The corresponding 2009 - while still recommendable - was far less interesting as well as duller in texture and flavor profile. And a 1999 was fascinating in aromas but otherwise attenuated and drying.)
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NORTHSTAR VINEYARDS 2008
NORTHSTAR MERLOT COLUMBIA VALLEY
"The 2008 Columbia Valley Merlot offers up aromas of balsam wood, spice box, tobacco, violets, cassis, and blackberry. Savory on the palate, if slightly austere, another 1-2 years of bottle should fill the wine out. It will drink well through 2023." Jay Miller Wine Advocate 91 points
|Wine maker notes
|Epitomizing power and finesse, our Columbia Valley Merlot is crafted from the finest grapes grown throughout the Columbia Valley AVA of eastern Washington State.
|“Just as the North Star has been used through the ages as a directional guide, Northstar Winery was established in the early 1990s to guide the creation of world-class Merlot-based wines that demonstrate the potential of the variety in Washington State.
The region has since been recognized as one of the worlds most exciting and acclaimed regions for Merlot. Washington lies at the same latitude as the Bordeaux region in France, yet has the additional benefit of a longer growing season and cooler nighttime temperatures. These characteristics aid in the even ripening of grapes and the locking in of acidity, resulting in full-bodied yet balanced Merlots. Northstars first vintage was in 1994 and the state-of-the-art winery was built in 2002.
In its earliest years, Northstar was guided by celebrated California winemaker Jed Steele, who worked extensively with our current winemaker, David “Merf Merfeld, head Winemaker since 2005. Now leading the way, and with access to the top 2% of Columbia and Walla Walla Valleys finest Merlot grapes, Merf is creating wines of great distinction and acclaim.