Mercer Estate Sharp Sisters Horse Heaven Hills Red Blend 2015

The Mercer Estate Sharp Sisters Horse Heaven Hills Red Blend 2015 is an estate grown blend of 29% Cabernet Sauvignon (Eagle & Plow Vineyard), 27% Syrah (Spice Cabinet Vineyard), 18% Merlot (Dead Canyon Vineyard), 14% Petit Verdot (Milt’s Vineyard), 10% Grenache, and 2% Carignane (both from the Spice Cabinet Vineyard) in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA inside the Columbia Valley AVA of Washington State. Mercer Estates was named Washington Winery of the Year for 2016 and the Sharp Sisters refers to the family Matriarch and her sisters who were present around the time the Mercer’s settle this land over 100 years ago. The Mercer’s first planted grapes 1972 and the first vintage of their own wine was 2005. The Sharp Sisters blend is intended to be a throw-back blend, wine that was left-over from their other bottling’s mixed into a big, juicy great tasting blend. And really, it was more than just a blend of what was available, since the grapes came from a wide selection of the estate, it was a celebration of all the vineyards had to offer. The grapes were fermented separately in stainless steel tanks, the wine was then blended and then aged in French and American oak barrels for 18 months. The alcohol content is a ripe 14.8%.

The color is an opaque plum red with blue-black highlights. The nose is rich, blackberry, vanilla, brown sugar, black cherry, a touch of pepper, and a little spice. This is a dry, full-bodied wine, nicely complex and showing solid structure. It tastes of ripe, juicy blackberry, licorice, a hint of herbs, plum, and vanilla. The mid-palate shows raspberry, black pepper, mild exotic spice, and a salty, cashew sensation. The tannins are smooth, they don’t interfere, but you know that are there. The acidity is solid and gives the flavors enough length to fully unfold. The finish is stout and long.

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The Mercer Estate Sharp Sisters Horse Heaven Hills Red Blend 2015 has tons of flavor, but also solid structure and acidity. I tend to like Washington State wine, especially the Red wines, there is an appealing roundness to the fruit, kind of like going to a farm stand at the peak of harvest, it seems the grapes were picked just at their ripest. They have all the structure and acidity that are required, but it is the supple harvest flavors that get my attention. The Sharp Sisters Red blend is a solid example of this. A beautifully made red blend with delicious flavor.

 

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