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wrcstl

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Q: Need a good Washington State cab/merlot blend

by wrcstl » Tue Sep 12, 2006 1:00 pm

Our group is having a wine tasting that I have absolutely nothing in the cellar to offer. The theme is Washington State cabernet and merlot blends. I know nothing about Washington state and am flying blind here. Need some recs for a good wine, hopefully under $50
Walt
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Jenise

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Re: Q: Need a good Washington State cab/merlot blend

by Jenise » Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:05 pm

Walt, I've got a suggestion for you: O-S Winery's cab-merlot blend that is 70% Merlot and 30 cab. Bill Owen (or is it Owens) is a real mad scientist type Washington winemaker and Bordeaux freak, according to friends who know him, and his wine is both interesting and reflective of Bill's taste. Don't be discouraged by the high degree of merlot here--merlot in WA is a much more serious animal than anything you know from California merlots--in California they have to add Cabernet to beef it up, in Washington we add Cab to tone it down! This is a good, well-made, serious red blend that should show well. It's around $30, and I found a retailer here in my area who has it in stock. He can arrange to get it to you (I can't offer to do it myself, I'm travelling.) If you're interested, email me.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Q: Need a good Washington State cab/merlot blend

by wrcstl » Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:27 pm

Thanks Jenise, I will look for it.
Walt
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Re: Q: Need a good Washington State cab/merlot blend

by Bruce K » Wed Sep 13, 2006 11:37 am

I was recently out there and tasted what I thought was a spectacular Bordeaux blend, the Woodward Canyon 2002 Walla Walla Valley Estate Red. It also has a good dose of cabernet franc in it -- don't know if that's a problem. However, if I remember correctly, I think it sells for $55 which would put it over your budget.

Two other blends I had were L'Ecole No. 41's 2003 Walla Walla Valley Perigee and 2003 Walla Walla Valley Apogee. Both are single vineyard and both are around $40, I think. The Perigee is majority cabernet and is from Seven Hills Vineyard. The Apogee is majority merlot and is from Pepper Bridge Vineyard. They're interesting to taste side by side because the Apogee is more powerful and the Perigee more elegant, the opposite of what you might assume by the grape proportions. I think this is a reflection of the vineyard differences, though as Jenise accurately pointed out, Washington merlot is a very different beast than it is in California. These wines are oakier than I prefer, but are reasonably in balance and I liked them anyway.

You should be able to buy these wines directly from the wineries.
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Re: Q: Need a good Washington State cab/merlot blend

by Jenise » Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:28 pm

Bruce, excellent recommendations, and Walt might actually find the L'Ecole in St. Louis if he prefers to shop personally rather than import the wine. We saw a lot of L'Ecole in California, so I'm thinking it gets wider distribution than many.
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Re: Q: Need a good Washington State cab/merlot blend

by Bruce K » Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:32 pm

Thanks, Jenise. Here in The Other Washington (aka D.C.), we see plenty of L'Ecoles on the shelf, but usually the semillons and cabernets rather than the likes of the Perigee and Apogee. But it's certainly worth checking.

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