Who makes it?
Northstar Winery is owned by Chateau Ste Michelle, the team has gained the reputation for their passion for merlot from Walla Walla and Columbia Valley. Of course, one of the things you need to remember with labelling here is that a wine only has to have 75% of the grape listed as a single variety on the label. So, this is worth noting. Northstar Winery also has a selection of other Bordeaux grapes and Syrah.
The winemaker for Northstar Winery is David Merfeld. Or Merf for short. There is also an eponymous range of wines called Merf which also includes a Chardonnay.
How do they make it?
This is a Bordeaux blend of Merlot (at least 75%), Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. A portion of the blend has been fermented as whole berries. This affects the aromas making the wine fragrant and spicier and adds structure. After ferment, the wine undergoes extended oak aging.
What does it taste like?
Creamy oak bolsters up the cedary, plum, herb, currant and vanilla characters to give a seamless appeal. It is a full bodied, plush drop that is also as rich in detail as it is in texture. The Northstar Merlot offers up good drinking now but it is also a wine that you can enjoy after a stint in the cellar.
What to drink it with?
Classically a steak does come to mind with this wine. But, of course, you can easily take this to dinner where meat does not feature and enjoy it just as much with oven baked mediterranean vegetables tossed in a herb rub. Or just settle in on the couch with a glass and some friends.
This is one for the mature cheese lover.
Quickie review « Bordeaux style merlot blend that delivers complex, smooth fruit that is worthy of the cellar. »
Country of Origin: Columbia Valley, USA
Tasting Date: July 2021
Drink: now – 7+ years
Needs food: no
Visit Northstarwinery.com for more information