Walla Walla Valley
Appelation: Walla Walla Valley
Vineyards: 21% Les Collines (Walla Walla), 9% St. Clare (Walla Walla) & 70% Pepper Bridge (Walla Walla)
Blend: 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Oak Program: 19 Months in 61% French; 38% American; 1% East. European oak barrels. (52% new oak)
Harvested: October 2, 2008
Bottled: April 15, 2010
Brix: 25.8 Brix
Acidity: 6.4 g/L
Production: 516 cases
Winter 2007/2008 was very warm in the Walla Walla Valley, resulting in an early May bud break for the Merlot grapes. The warm spring encouraged growth and a perfect berry set. Summer continued to be hot and dry, resulting in an harvest that produced fruit with excellent sugar levels (25.8 Brix). The perfect growing conditions and the rich soils of the Walla Walla Valley vineyards produced a complex Merlot wine that has outstanding fruit concentrations.
The hand picked grapes from the vineyards were gently de-stemmed and crushed. The grapes were then fermented in half-ton open topped fermentation bins at an average must temperature of 89°F for 11 days. The grape must cap was punched down by hand several times a day. At dryness, the grape must was lightly pressed into a settling tank to reduce sediment. The wine was then put directly into 225 liter oak barrels where malolatic fermentation was completed. The Merlot wine received a total of five rackings and was not filtered prior to bottling.
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Fort Walla Walla Cellars 2008 Merlot from the Walla Walla Valley is smooth and elegant. An aromatic wine with a velvety texture that provides a mouthful of black cherry, mocha, and mild pepper-scented aromas. It’s a full-bodied wine with overlays of vanilla–laced oak and soft tannins. The wine is well balanced and concludes with a wonderful plush finish. Enjoy!