Gifford-Hirlinger 2009 Estate Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $32

By on September 29, 2013

gifford-hirlinger-logo-verticalMike Berghan makes what he grows around his stylish winery and tasting room on Stateline Road south of Walla Walla, and he dotes on his Merlot by dropping it into a French oak program — 50% new barrels — for 24 months. That makes for beautiful aromas with black cherry, strawberry jam, cocoa powder, nutmeg, violets and cedar. The entry is bold with dark plums, black cherry and dried strawberry, then held up by raspberry acidity and a tannin structure that blooms across the palate. This wine, scheduled for release Nov. 1, already is showing nicely. Alas, production was nearly half that of the award-winning 2008 vintage.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 100 cases

Alcohol: 14.8%

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Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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