2012 Merlot Read Tasting Notes

Yakima Valley

In 2011, a freeze decimated our Muscat Canelli vines. During the following harvest, racing to find a source, we met several growers with different clones of the Muscat grape, Morio Muscat, Orange Muscat, and Muscadelle, who were willing to help Mike and Natalie that year with grapes. Fast forward to 2018 vintage, one of these growers called them, knowing how much they loved all Muscat varieties. This call came at the perfect time, as Mike and Natalie’s Muscat Canelli vines were just being pulled out for lack of quality production. They pounced at the opportunity to get such a rare and wonderful grape! Orange Moscato will now be a mainstay in the Latah Creek line-up.

Lonesome Spring Vineyard, 100% Orange Muscat

This small lot of grapes comes from a highly skilled grape grower, so the flavor that comes from them is amazing! Once fermenting, this juice is watched closely, as when it reaches around 10% residual sugar, the fermentation is stopped, to leave the wine sweet. The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks at cooler temperatures, to retain its fruit forward characteristics. A higher acid level in the wine was left to keep it from cloying, but fresh on the palate. The wine temperature never gets above 38 degrees, which keeps the CO2, produced during fermentation, from dissipating, giving a slight effervescence to the wine.

Harvest Data: September 14, 2020 Brix: 23.0 TA: 0.8 pH: 3.21 Alc.: 6.0% RS: 10 %
Bottled: January 21, 2021 | 415 cases | Released: January 2021

Mike Conway and Natalie Conway-Barnes

Using the Orange Muscat grape produces a wine filled with sweet orange blossom, fresh jasmine, caramelized banana. Slightly effervescent, flavors of honey, white flowers, and orange cream linger long after the wine is gone. A crisp acid level keeps this wine from being cloying.

Enjoy this wine well chilled as an aperitif, with a fruit and cheese platter, or as an accompaniment to Ellena’s Mushroom Tart recipe, available online at

Awards and Accolades

’19 Vintage
Silver, Dan Berger International Wine Competition 2020
DOUBLE GOLD, Savor NW Wine Awards 2020
94 points, Savor NW Wine Awards 2020
GOLD, Wine Press Northwest Platinum Awards 2020