Hogue Merlot Reserve
The wine opens with aromas of black cherry and plum, with tobacco, leather, cocoa, and molasses. Upfront flavors of ripe dark fruit with bright strawberry top notes are followed by suggestions of whiskey barrel, kirsch, coffee, and vanilla. It’s a full, spicy wine that will go nicely with steak, mushroom risotto, duck, or smoked meats.
$42.00 / Bottle $504.00 / Case
The Hogue family has been a fixture in the Washington State farming community since the 1940s. Settling in Prosser, Washington, future heart of the state’s prosperous wine industry, Mike and Gary Hogue grew up working the hop fields and premier apple orchards of Columbia Valley. Inspired by his parents’ entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic, Mike Hogue planted the family’s first vineyard in 1979. In 1982, he and Gary established The Hogue Cellars, Washington’s 19th bonded winery (there are now 550+). Today, as the Hogue brothers remain active in the business, The Hogue Cellars has emerged as one of Washington’s most respected wineries.
The Hogue Cellars has a long history of producing outstanding Reserve Merlot and the 2006 vintage is no exception. Sourced from the best vineyard lots for aging in the finest French and American oak barrels, it is very much a Reserve style wine to savor now or cellar, as it will age well.
This wine is a blend of 96% Merlot, 2% Syrah, 1% Malbec, and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes making this wine were harvested from Block 6 North in the Fries Vineyard, one of Hogues long-standing sources for the Reserve program. The vineyard lies on the south-facing hill overlooking the Wahluke Slope. Merlot comes in early in the season, so the grapes arrive warm and extract easily. The fruit was de-stemmed, crushed into stainless steel tanks, and then fermented in three lots with Pasteur Red and D254 yeast. The new wines were racked immediately when dry and inoculated for malolactic fermentation and sent to a mix of new and used oak barrels, 35% new French and 23% new American oak. The wines were racked from the lees after malolactic fermentation, then topped and blended to balance oak and structure. The blend was sent back to barrel, this time in 70% new French oak. The wine was ready to bottle in March 2009, after a total of 28 months of barrel aging.