Novelty Hill Merlot 2020, Columbia Valley, Washington

2020 vintage – 95% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec. Tasting notes: “Polished and focused, with enticing aromas of wild cherry, cocoa, and vanilla. Flavorful layers of fresh raspberry, juicy plum, and ripe black cherry stretch across a supple, deeply textured mid-palate, leaving a rich, elegant impression.” – Mike Januik, Winemaker. Vineyard: The Columbia Valley is a diverse growing region that provides a wide range of fruit expressions to yield multilayered wines. For this Merlot, winemaker Mike Januik blended barrels from Novelty Hill’s estate vineyard Stillwater Creek on the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills, along with select lots from the Horse Heaven Hills and the Tri-Cities area to create a rich, balanced wine. Winemaking: Gentle pump overs during fermentation were used to submerge the skins and extract color and flavor from the grapes. Gravity-racked every five months to soften and clarify the wine. Aged 19 months in new and used barrels, 75% French oak, 25% American oak