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Three Wines from Mercer Estate in Washington

Mercer Estate Malbec – Horse Heaven Hills AVA

Mercer Estate Winery in Eastern Washington is located in Prosser. At this time, the Mercer vineyards consist of more than 2,000 acres. Don and Linda Mercer planted the first grapevines. It was in 2005 that Rob and Brenda Mercer started Mercer Wine Estates.

Historically, the Mercers have been farming the property since 1886 which over the years has included livestock and row crops and then adding vineyards. Sustainability is important to the Mercer family. This effort includes water, soil, integrated pest and waste management.

Recently the Mercer Estate winery sent us three wine samples to review. All three wines are produced with Horse Heaven Hills AVA fruit.

The 2016 Mercer Horse Heaven Hills AVA Sauvignon Blanc was a light yellow color with a light green hue. The aroma included notes of mineral, citrus and tropical fruit. The taste offered grapefruit, lemon grass and a hint of pineapple. The finish was very crisp with lemon grass notes yielding to citrus. The grapes were from the Mercer estate vineyard, Princeton. The alcohol of the wine was 12.5%.

The 2015 Malbec Horse Heaven Hills AVA was a black color with a purple rim. The aroma was light and the full-bodied wine offered tastes of blackberries, black pepper and baking spices. The wine had medium to bold tannins. The finish offered fruit and spice notes.  The estate grown wine was produced with grapes from the Spiced Cabinet Vineyard. The wine was produced with a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Old and new French oak barrels were used for malolactic fermentation. The wine was 14.8% alcohol.

The 2015 Sharp Sisters Red Blend Horse Heaven Hills AVA was a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Syrah, Carignane and Petit Verdot.This red blend was a dark ruby color. The aroma offered notes of black cherries, plums and blackberries. The taste also included notes of black cherries, plums, and blackberries plus leather, vanilla and baking spices. The finish had fruit notes yielding to spices.

The grapes for the Sharp Sisters red blend are from the estate vineyards. Specifically the Merlot grapes were from the Dead Canyon Vineyard while the Cabernet Sauvignon was from the Eagle & Plow Vineyard. Spice Cabinet Vineyard was the source of the Grenache, Syrah and Carignane. The Petit Verdot grapes were from Mercer’s Milt’s Vineyard.

The winemaking protocol included aging the wine in a combination of American and French barrels for 18 months. The wine had 14.8% alcohol.

Horse Heaven Hills AVA produces fabulous fruit. Consider trying some of the Mercer Estate portfolio of wines for this holiday season.

Several years ago we visited Mercer Estate in Prosser, Washington. The article review is available online.


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