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Copyright © 2015
Forkmedia LLC

by Fred McMillin
for December 12, 2000


Going Up?


Not so long ago in the World Wine Championships American Merlot competition, fourof the top six Merlots were from Washington State.

The Rest of the Story

One of the newer Washington Merlots is by Canoe Ridge Vineyards. We gave their 1997 a year in our cellar before pouring it two months ago. It received a highly recommended. (See Oct. 25 WineDay.)

Canoe Ridge Vineyard

We Couldn't Wait

The 1998 Canoe was released last June 1. It went into my cellar. But Winemaker John Abbot told me that it had "great extraction and massive fruit." The more I thought about it, I couldn't wait. So, I wrapped the bottle and put it in our last blind tasting. Would the score go up or down?

The Result

The rating of the new 1998 topped that of the 1997 by eleven percent.

Our Wine of the Day

1998 Canoe Ridge Vineyard Merlot
Appellation—Columbia Valley, Washington
Winemaker—John Abbott
Tasting Notes—A purple powerhouse, but NOT harsh.
Age of Vines—The vines are not yet ten years old, but are showing a lot of character already. Try a bottle and see what you think.
Food Affinity—John Abbott recommends garlic-basil pasta sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. (John, I can be there by 7!)
Contact—Jennifer Gould, (707) 254-4263, FAX (707) 254-4201
Price—$25 range


Ladies' Choice—While the male palates gave today's wine a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, the ladies gave it an even higher rating of EXCELLENT.


About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.



This page created December 2000