The Mercer Estates 2008 Merlot was produced utilizing fruit sourced at two growing regions within the Columbia Valley appellation of Washington State. In addition to Merlot (93%), this wine also contains some Cabernet Sauvignon (7%). All of the fruit was hand harvested as each block matured. Barrel aging took place over 18 months in a combination of French and American Oak. This wine has a suggested retail price of $23.99. Aromas of dark berry fruit fill the nose of this 2008 Merlot. Wisps of herb and a touch of eucalyptus add additional depth to the aromatic profile. Black cherry plays a starring role in the palate of this wine. Raspberry flavors kick in as well along with tobacco leaf characteristics. Subtle Kirsch Liqueur elements emerge at the back of the palate and lead to the finish which also shows off black pepper, earth, dusty dark chocolate and chicory. This wine features firm structure and solid acidity.
There’s a lot to like about this Merlot. First and most importantly it shows off lots of varietal character. It’s also a well balanced wine that drinks beautifully now but will improve in the short term and drink well for another 7 or 8 years. If you drink this Merlot in the next 2 years I recommend decanting it for about 90 minutes. That aeration really helps this wine flourish and show off all its charms. This wine is a nice value in Merlot and if you shop around you’ll be able to find it for under $20.