2012 Merlot Read Tasting Notes

Columbia Valley AVA

Father/daughter winemaking team, Mike and Natalie started the Monarch Reserve Red program in 2008, with the first release in April 2010. The idea was to give Natalie an opportunity to learn an individual grape intimately, on a small-scale level. This is the first blend named after Mike, and it uses three of his favorite grapes.

Every vintage of our Reserve Red is a little different in varietal makeup due to harvest amounts, final wine production amounts, and more. Natalie’s favorite part of winemaking is blending. This is an art form to her. For this wine, she started off with equal parts of each wine. The Cabernet, with its fantastic varietal flavors, was her favorite, so it made sense to increase it. The Malbec’s red and black berry flavors were wonderful, but overtook the other flavors, so this was decreased. After a few more tweaks, she had her blend.

58% 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley AVA
22% 2015 Malbec, Ancient Lakes AVA
20% 2014 Merlot, Ancient Lakes AVA

These 3 wines blend together beautifully, creating lush, intensely fruity, full- bodies red. The Cabernet Sauvignon brings depth and grace to the blend, with notes of black currant and tannins. The Merlot adds structure and discipline along with floral and earthy characteristics. The fruit-forward nature, chocolate, and ripe berries come from the Malbec.

Enjoy this wine with grilled meats, robust foods, or heavy pasta dishes, such as Ellena’s Tuscan Spaghetti alla Puttanesca recipe in her latest cookbook.

Awards and Accolades

Silver, Savor NW Wine Awards 2017

Silver, Cascadia Wine Competition 2017

Double Gold, Seattle Wine Awards 2017