Celilo Vineyard, Columbia Gorge, WA
What we love
From Washington’s “Winery of the Year” (2015) comes this gem of a Merlot. Grown in a cool-climate vineyard, where long days and cool nights provide a near perfect environment. Merlot is loved for so many reasons. It’s expressive, juicy, and loaded with delicious, ripe fruits: plums, blackberries, cherries and currants. Merlot has soft tannins, which gives it this beautiful plush, smooth texture. And great Merlots, like this one, also have enough natural acidity to give refreshment for any time enjoyment.
About this Wine
Michael Savage is a very unassuming and friendly winemaker who is crafting wines of distinctive style and making an impact on Washington wine. Not only does he have the philosophy of making fresh, balanced wines from cool Washington State sites, but he manages to execute his vision and delivers varietally correct and precise wines. This award-winning Merlot proves you don’t have to spend a fortune to drink well. Cheers!
91 points, Wine Enthusiast
- Technical Data:
- 100% Merlot
- Alcohol: 14.4%
- Drink now through 2021
Meet the Winemaker
Savage Grace Wines
Savage Grace Wines owner-winemaker Michael Savage is a bit of a Washington outsider.
Whereas the state wine industry’s reputation often falls on full-bodied, plush wines from iconic eastern Washington producers like Cayuse, his Savage Grace wines are betting on subtler, more delicate expressions... and on the lesser-known region: Columbia Gorge.
His vision is to make Old World style lower-alcohol, balanced, and expressive wines. “I’m looking for wine that goes with food,” says Savage, “that’s packed with flavor and aroma, but deceptively light-bodied.”
A musician in a former life, Savage learned winemaking at a larger winery whose process and style did not jibe with him. “I decided in the beginning that I wasn’t going to make wine like that.” The wines, made by Savage and his wife Grace Hearn, nevertheless decline to veer into the dilute, underripe, aggressively green school of lean winemaking. “I have a feeling you’re going to start seeing more wines like this coming out of the state,” says Savage. “I think we’re on the cusp of a change.”
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