Five Star Cellars Merlot
WHY WE LOVE IT
- This is Washington Merlot at its finest. Five Star Cellars is a Merlot company first and is how we made a name for ourselves.
- Merlot in Walla Walla is super rich, full bodied and drinks big like a Cabernet would. The elegance and softness of the tannins in a Merlot make it more approachable earlier, but its layers and complexity allow for it to age extremely well. This is one of the best Merlot’s in Washington and for the money is a steal.
Varietal Composition: 86% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec
Elaboration: The wine was produced in the Walla Walla Valley on two vineyards, Pepperbridge Vineyard, and Seven Hills Vineyard. The wine is aged for 18 months in 30% New French, New Hungarian, Russian barrels.
Tasting Notes: Great vibrant red color for Merlot. The red fruit aromas are like a punch of cherry, black raspberry, strawberry jam, and a wonderful bouquet of cassis. This has bright acid and a very lively mid-palate. Flavors of raspberry scone are followed by a very rounded, silky finish.
Before he retired as a John Deere dealer in the state of Washington, David Huse came to know many vineyard owners in the Walla Walla Valley. What started as a post-retirement experiment grew into a full-fledged passion for the Huse family. As the Five Star Cellars website proclaims, they use “grapes only from the highest quality vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley.”
David started Five Star Cellars in 2000, and the first vintage consisted of 120 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon. That doubled the following year with Cabernet and Merlot. After a 2002 remodel, Dave’s son Matt took over as winemaker and they released their first vintage, which quickly sold out. They added a Syrah to their growing list of vintages and continue to draw fruit from some of the area’s storied vineyard owners.