* Grapes were crushed with 30% whole berries remaining.
* Cold soaking on the skins for two days extracted soft tannins and intense color.
* Fermentation, including twice-daily pumpovers, lasted 6-10 days, depending on the lot.
* A portion of the wine went through malolactic fermentation, which occurred in primarily new French oak barrels.
* The wine aged in new barrels for 24 months.
* Fruit was handpicked from the vintage’s best vineyards for Columbia Crest’s Reserve Merlot.
* Vineyard sites are located on the Wahluke Slope, offering aromatics, texture and complexity; in the Cold Creek area, adding to the flavor and fruitiness; and in the Horse Heaven Hills, contributing balance and body to the finished wine.
* The balance between warm daytime temperatures and cooler evenings concentrated aromatics and enhanced complexity.
* Low rainfall stressed the vines, and irrigation was applied judiciously to create concentrated varietal expression.
At Columbia Crest we pride ourselves on delivering handcrafted, superior-quality small-lot wines, as well as affordable everyday Washington wines. Our first release in 1984 started a tradition that has established us as one of America’s most popular and fast-growing wineries.