The Mercer 2015 Malbec (78%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (22%) grapes were grown in the Spice Cabinet Vineyard on a southeast slope above the Columbia River. The 2015 vintage was hot, and fruit came in about two weeks ahead of schedule. The grapes were not crushed, which they say preserved all the whole-berry characteristics. The juice experienced malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels, where the different lots aged for 18 months before being blended. Alcohol hits a lofty 14.8% abv and sells for around $20, which is a great deal.
The Mercer Malbec looks dark ruby in the glass. The nose offers some beautiful dark fruit - plums, blackberries and currant - and sticks a lovely dose of French oak in there. A nice, savory hint of black olives lurks in the background. The palate is just as enjoyable, with a fruity focus augmented by peppery spice and cinnamon. This is a wine that will be a hit at the holiday table, no doubt. It's a festive, fun red that can hold its own with the standing rib roast.
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