It wouldn’t be right, if I didn’t write about the domestic offering from my wine club, the Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan and this is one of the July offerings, even though I know that we are in August. Who would have ever thought that I would have an abundance of articles to write, even with this lockdown that I guess will never leave us? I am always glad to see the tenacity of some businesses that just won’t roll over and die, because at least here, the major players got the breaks and the little guys were ignored. I would probably roll over and die, or at least cease writing, and maybe no one would notice, if I had to get my groceries and wine (God forbid) from big box stores like Walmart, because I have never set foot in one. I guess working my entire career for small independent merchants, I just have a natural loathing for anything big in structure.
Mercer Estates planted their first wine grapes in the Horse Heaven Hill is 1972. They have taken advantage of the rich soil and the desert climate to produce some elegant tannin Cabernet Sauvignon wines, as well as other wines along the way. They had their first vintage year in 2005 at Prosser, Washington. They have a state-of-the-art winery giving the winemakers the luxury of temperature control and the ideal settings for fermentation. Their barrel rooms allow for long and varied aging, so that everything is not cookie-cutter and rigid by-the-book production methods. They have seven different brands, and this particular wine is not even on their web page.
Mercer Estates Dead Canyon Ranch Red Wine Blend Horse Heaven Hills AVA 2017 is the wine that I will talk about. Horse Heaven Hills AVA is part of the much larger Columbia Valley AVA in Washington State. The region was granted an AVA in 2005, but it has the distinction of being the home of Washington’s oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines that were planted in 1972. The wine is a blend of fifty percent Syrah, twenty percent Cabernet Sauvignon, seventeen percent Merlot, eight percent Malbec, three percent Petit Verdot and two percent Mourvedre. The tasting notes mention dark fruits like blackberry, blueberry jam and ripe plums, along with notes of sage, sweet smoke and vanilla in a balance wine (and you know that is not how I tend to describe wines, that old school methods of mine. With all that Syrah, I have to think of this wine for barbecues and more exotic meats like game or big roasts. I just have to find the right moment and dinner.