You may have noticed that every featured wine so far this year has been from California. Well, our office is in the Golden State so we admit it, we are biased. Still, we recognize that the proliferation of wineries throughout the U.S. (Oregon, Washington, Virginia, New York, Texas...) makes it a great time to be an oenophile no matter where you live. And best of all, you can find great wines, at reasonable prices, that are ready to drink right now. That’s our mantra at Peninsula Underground. We love helping you find those wines. For May, we take you to the state of Washington.
Let’s say you’re going to meet your significant other’s parents for the first time. They’ve invited you over for dinner. Of course, you’d like to bring a nice bottle of wine but you want to be thoughtful, savvy. Not one of those cliche’ grocery store bottles but something different, interesting. A conversation starter. Hello Mercer Family Vineyards Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve!
Located in south-central Washington, Mercer Family Vineyards is in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA, which was established in 2005. Don’t let that fairly recent designation fool you. Nearly 50 years ago Don and Linda Mercer planted the first wine grapes in Horse Heaven Hills. Now, this AVA accounts for more than 1/4 of Washington’s total grape production.
We first tried Mercer’s 2016 HHH Cab Reserve in December and were immediately impressed by its sleek, softening tannins. It’s what you might expect from a wine that has laid down for several years. Winemaker Will Mercer describes the wine: “Aromas of ripe blackberries, bright red currants, savory herbs, and sweet pipe tobacco are highlighted by vanilla and sweet spice...a light touch of acidity.”
Whether you can discern all those aromas and flavors or not you will know from the first sip that it’s an exceptional, delicious wine. We then tasted this wine against other notable Washington and California Cabs and it was superior to all of them. The best part of all? You can pick up the 2016, or the current release 2017, for about $25 a bottle at Total Wine or wine.com.
For producing an amazing Cab reserve at a very reasonable price the Mercer Family Vineyards’ Horse Heaven Hills earns a 5-Cork rating and is our May wine-of-the-month. We recommend it to all our followers.