Tasting Notes

Our 2004 Merlot is bright, featuring clean and luscious flavors of wild black cherries and dark plums with intriguing notes of whipped chocolate mousse, exotic spices and earth. Rich layered and concentrated, this plush Merlot finishes with a smooth, refined elegance.

The Year

There’s no way we can deny that the 2004 vintage was challenging. Mother Nature brought us a couple of frigid arctic fronts, which froze many of our vines and prevented them from producing fruit this year. We are fortunate to have friends across the state of Washington who gave us access to some of their best blocks of grapes. I put many miles on my car driving to these vineyards to gain an understanding of them and to monitor the grapes’ progress. Ultimately, what began as a problem turned into an exciting opportunity. Our wines from the 2004 vintage deliver the characteristically elegant complexity and super-long finish for which Pepper Bridge wines are known.

Viticulture

Entirely estate; Certified Sustainable and Salmon Safe.
Founding member of VINEA.

Wine Specifics

Varietals: 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec
Vineyards: 48% Weinbau, 32% Canoe Ridge, 15% Del Rio, 5% Cold Creek

 

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Awards & Accolades

“Medium Ruby. Ripe, with slightly reduced aroma of blackberry, violet, graphite and dark chocolate, with hints of smoky oak and mushroom. Supple, soft and sweet in the middle palate, with a musky note of milk chocolate. Finishes with chewy tannins and notes of leather and cedar.”
– Stephen Tanzer, Vinous

“This well-built wine has aromas of sun-dried tomato and bunt caramel; its savory plum and black cherry fruit seems to have been slow-cooked with brown sugar, supported by toasty oak flavors, a mellow, smooth texture and a dusty, earth-toned finish. Feels young still; for now, it’s ideal weight for pork.”
– Wine & Spirits, 94 points

“The 2004 Merlot (also from Columbia Valley due to the freeze) may help restore the reputation of this grape. Dark ruby-colored, it has a pretty perfume of pain grille, cassis, and black cherry. On the palate the wine is supple and sweet with a lush texture and fine depth. This nicely balanced effort is drinking well now and should last for another 15 years.”
– Jay S Miller, Wine Advocate, 92 points

Full Acclaim