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Spoken Barrel

Meritage, Red Blend,
 2015

$19.99 $18.99/bottle

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Description

From the rugged conditions of Columbia Valley, Washington (the 42nd state), Spoken Barrel’s Bordeaux-inspired blend delivers rich, complex flavors of bright red fruits, toasty oak, smoke, chocolate, and citrus rind

Variety: Meritage, Red Blend
Region: Columbia Valley, Washington State
Winemaker: Spoken Barrel
Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 14.5%

Winemaker's Notes

Black garnet in color, this 2015 Meritage features bright, fresh fruit aromas of blueberry and red plum with dark notes of leather, black licorice, and deep roasted oak. A dense and rich mouthfeel is accented by flavors of bright red fruits, toasty oak, smoke, chocolate, and citrus rind. The ample tannins are supple and carry the flavors through a long finish

John's Notes

Since having my first Meritage in New York’s Finger Lakes wine region seemingly forever ago, I’ve heard so many people mispronounce this word that maybe we should start there. The way I learned was that it should rhyme with “heritage” so accordingly, the proper pronunciation is MARE-eh-tidge.  In essence, Meritage is a licensed word that US producers use to signify that the wine is “crafted solely from specific noble Bordeaux grape varieties which are considered to be the very best wines of the vintage” as described by the Meritage Alliance

Notes of black cherry, juicy purple plum, and anise lift easily from the glass in support of it’s deep ruby appearance. On the palate, the wine is big but smooth, with pronounced notes of black cherry, purple plum, cigar box, cocoa nibs, black licorice, and fine-grained smoky tannins.  This is the perfect bottle if you like high tannin wines, but appreciate when they are properly balanced by fruit and alcohol.  I wish I had a grilled steak to go with this one – that would have been incredible

Nerdy Details

Winemaker: Spoken Barrel, winemaker Maurine Johnson

  • Established in 2018, Spoken Barrel Winery dedicates itself to producing wines made from the best grapes that Washington State has to offer
  • With 30 years of winemaking experience, Maurine joined the Spoken Barrel team in 2016, and was involved in the early stages of the winery’s creation, while working to produce wine showcasing the quality of grapes that Washington state is known for

Variety:  45% Malbec, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 13% Petit Verdot

Region: Columbia Valley, Washington State

Climate:

  • The Columbia Valley lies east of the Cascade Mountains in the valleys of the Columbia River and its tributaries
  • The Cascade Mountains create a rain shadow which shelters the vineyards from winds and rain, making it critical to irrigate with river water
  • The vineyards experience long daylight hours with sunny days and consistent temperatures
  • Nights are cool which help to preserve the grapes’ acidity levels

Viticulture:

  • 2015 finished as the hottest growing season on record for the Columbia Valley. A mild winter and early spring led to bud break more than two weeks ahead of normal
  • The sunny, warm summer months encouraged ripening, resulting in excellent color and tannin development in our red varieties
  • Temperatures cooled in September, which brought ideal weather during the critical finishing period through October
  • Just as the season started, harvest began two weeks early with crushing of the fruit occurring from mid-September to early October

Winemaking:  

  • Our red grape varieties from our top vineyards were destemmed and fermented warm on the skins in stainless steel tanks to extract flavor, color, and tannins
  • After primary fermentation, the wine is pressed from the skins and undergoes malolactic fermentation to soften the acidity and enrich the mouthfeel
  • The lead varietal for our Meritage, Malbec is a rising star in Washington viticulture and winemaking and showcases the best the state has to offer. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot add classic Bordeaux character and fruit complexity, and a healthy dollop of Petit Verdot intensifies the color and structures of the final blend
  • 100% aged in small French, American, and European oak barrels, 30% new

Alcohol: 14.5%

Pairs Well With: Beef tenderloin with garlic and green peppers, grilled filet Mignon, pasta with meat sauce

Reviews

Tasting Panel (92): Intense ruby hue with a rich nose dominated by plum; a lush, nuanced, Malbec dominant blend of four Bordeaux varieties. It’s full-bodied, spicy, and polished while possessing the depth of wines ten times the price

Wine Enthusiast (87): Blackberry, asphalt, anise and spice lead to quite dry fruit and lighter-styled flavors, with the tannins giving a light squeeze. Sean P. Sullivan

 

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