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Mercer Estate
by
Kathy Sullivan

Mercer EstateSummary: Enjoy a visit to Mercer Estates winery where you will discover a partnership of two icon Washington families growing and producing quality wines. The winemaker with a hands-on approach sees the wines develop from the vineyards through to the finished bottle of wine. Between the Hogue and Mercer families, winemaker, and viticulturist many years of experience stand behind the wines.

History of Mercer Estates

In 2006 a partnership was formed between the Mercer and Hogue families. Both families are fourth generation Prosser residents. Mike Hogue had sold his large and successful winery and his name five years earlier. Mike and the Mercers decided a partnership would be in both of their best interests. The partnership allows the winery to produce both red and white wines from estate vineyards.

The expertise available from all of these established winemakers and wine growers is extended. All together there are decades of wine and vineyard experience.

Mercer EstateMercer and Hogue Vineyards

On the winery site there is almost an acre of Pinot Gris; this vineyard is named "Carma's Block" for an admired family matriarch, Carma Sharp Mercer. An “Adopt a Vine” program has been established and a place in this vineyard will be available to have dinner among the vines. The vineyard is picturesque with Horse Heaven Hills providing the background.

Rick Hamman is the viticulturist. The vineyards are farmed using sustainable and conservation practices. The Mercer family grows red wine grapes in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. Red varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Sangiovese, Grenache, Malbec, Mourvedre, and Syrah. Hogue grows the white grapes in Prosser including Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.

Mercer EstateThe grounds around the vineyard and tasting room are beautifully landscaped with roses predominant. Take time to amble along the pathways and observe the flora.

Winery and Tasting Room

Construction on the winery began in 2007 and the first vintage was also 2007. David Forsyth is the winemaker. The winery features a state-of-the-art wine filter that is a UV filter. According to Jenna Hannan, UV filtering is gentle on the wine. At the time of our late September visit, the winery was pressing Chardonnay grapes. David offered us a taste of the juice from the press and a taste from the free run juice mixed with juice from a light pressing. The juice that we tasted from the press had an apple aroma and was quite sweet. It reminded us of apple cider. The juice that was a mixture of free run and light pressing was also very sweet but less appley and had hints of citrus. It was more reminiscent of the Chardonnay grape.

Mercer EstateMercer Estate     

The tasting room opened in 2009. The tasting area offers an air of sophistication with dark wood walls. The white, solid surface countertop contrasts nicely with the dark wood. Chairs and tables provide an area to enjoy a glass of estate wine.

Mercer emphasizes a partnership between art and wine. The tasting room is decorated with artwork. Near the holiday season, a Holiday Open House takes place. This event attracts local artists. Demonstrations are provided.

Mercer EstateWhite Wines

All white wines are bottled with screw caps. Sauvignon Blanc was a light yellow. The aroma offered notes of lemon grass and tropical fruit. There were lemon nuances on the taste. The finish was crisp and citrusy. Chardonnay 2008 offered notes of apple. The finish was crisp and refreshing with a long fruit aftertaste. Riesling 2009 was a light yellow. This wine had a mineral with peach aroma. The taste offered yellow stone fruit notes and dried on the finish.

Red Wines

Red wines are bottled with natural cork. Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 was a dark ruby. The wine offered notes of dark fruit on the aroma and taste. The finish was fruity with tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 was a dark ruby. The wine had dark fruit and spice nuances. The finish with bold tannins was fruity yielding to spice. Merlot 2008 is the Mercer best selling wine. The wine is a dark purple and offers an aroma filled with dark fruit and earthy notes. The taste was dry with black fruit and earthy nuances. The finish provided bold tannins and a long aftertaste. Suggested pairings included beef and spice meals.

Enjoy a visit to Mercer Estates where you will discover quality wines, a lovely tasting room and views of Horse Heaven Hills.

Mercer Estate
3100 Lee Rd
Prosser, Washington 99350

GPS: N46º 13.212’ W119º 43.504’

 

 

 


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