Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2005
Wine EnthusiastThe Columbia Valley designated Merlot from Northstar accounts for six times as many cases as its Walla Walla Merlot, yet in quality terms it sometimes equals or even surpasses the pricier bottling. The 2005 vintage was stellar, and this lovely wine is bursting with fruit-raspberry, blackberry, plum and more. Spicy aromas and flavors wrap around chocolaty tannins; there are exotic hints of curry and plenty of toast.
Wine SpectatorSoft and open-textured, with a meaty edge to the cherry and spice flavors. Stays light on its feet through the mild tannins on the finish. Better than previously reviewed. Drink now through 2011
Wine AdvocateThe 2005 Merlot Columbia Valley contains 17% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot aged for 18 months in 70% new French and American oak. Opaque purple, it offers up an expressive nose of smoky black cherry and black currant aromas, spice box, and mineral. It has a firm, tannic entry which is a mild cause for concern. The wine has good flavors and plenty of depth but there is tannin in the finish which blunts the fruit. It may evolve and round out but that is a gamble.