Mackey Vineyards 2009 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $36

By on January 3, 2014

mackey-vineyards-merlot-2009-bottleRoger and Philip Mackey moved to Walla Walla in 2007 to work with Bordeaux varieties, and while much of their focus is on estate fruit and neighboring vineyards, they struck on a winning combination with Dionysus (58%) from north of Pasco, Wash., and DuBrul (42%) — a site with a cult following in the Yakima Valley. Their winemaker, Billo Naravane of Rasa Vineyards, leans heavily on new French oak here (70%), but it provides accents of sweet dark chocolate and maple among the aromas of fresh Bing cherry, ripe blackberry, rose petals and crushed herb. Those dark fruits fill the mouth amid a structure that’s supremely balanced with dusty tannins, lingering acidity and a complex finish of dried herbs. This wine earned a double gold at the 2012 Seattle Wine Awards, and it hasn’t lost a step.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 165 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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