2006 Revelry Vintners Columbia Valley Merlot

Mission Codename: Delight in Wine

Operative: Agent Whine

Objective: Secure a delicious and budget oriented wine from Washington’s Columbia Valley.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Revelry Vintners

Wine Subject: 2006 Columbia Valley Merlot

Winemaker: Jared Burns


The Columbia Valley is the largest appellation in Washington state and completely contains both the Yakima (as well as the city of Yakima) and Walla Walla Valleys. Located inland on a plateau of undulating hills and valleys and given is dry climate (nearly 300 days of sunshine per year) and northern latitude has nearly two hours more sun per day during the summer than Napa Valley. The region is known for growing excellent Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and, as in today’s wine, Merlot.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Translucent purple with orange and brick hues and excellent clarity. Ruby and pink hues along the edges with fast thin tears that race down the glass when swirled.

Smell – Medium intensity with aromas of black-cherry and other dark berries, fresh-cut new oak, and hints of savory spice. Earthy notes and a touch of herbal blackcurrant leaf and green pepper add to the complexity of this wine’s nose.

Feel – Smooth and dry, this medium-to-full bodied wine has well balanced medium firm tannins and easy acidity.

Taste – Ripe and tart black-cherry leads off, with a touch of other dark and black-fruit that are pleasantly layered over a touch of toasted oak and dark chocolate/mocha. As you explore this wine flavors of spices and herbal components are also revealed.

Finish – Medium in length and clean with lingering flavors of soft ripe fruit, spice and oak.

Conclusion – The 2006 Revelry Columbia Valley Merlot is a delicious wine at an exceptional price. Easy to drink but with aromas and flavors that are well integrated and surprising complete for a wine of this price.

Mission Report:

Wine and winemaking is a craft, tradition, skill and art that dates back centuries and through those centuries much has changed, but for the most part, the end product has remained relatively consistent. Grapes left to ferment and then age in barrels taste good, often times really good. No mystery here. One of the challenges that has persisted, however, is maintaining quality and purity so that the end result wine is well preserved, allowing us to transport, store and then serve great wines with some degree of predictability at our daily celebrations.

Farming techniques and bio-technology has allowed us to make better vines and better resulting fruit. Winemaking and chemistry has improved so we can ensure a more stable process. Technology has improved and thus the wine in the bottle has improved. It used to be a rule of thumb that one in every ten bottles was somehow tainted, now tainted bottles are extremely rare. (I experience a tainted bottle about one in every 25-30, a two-to-three fold improvement). It happens, no point in assigning blame, just set the bottle aside for salad vinegar and open another bottle.

It is in the light of celebrating those improvements in winemaking that we bring you today’s selection from Revelry Vintners. Based in the Walla Walla Valley in Washington’s Columbia Valley AVA, Revelry is at the forefront of one piece of the technology game. Jared Burns, winemaker at Revelry, is the son of the person who invented the synthetic cork wine closure (no family pressure here) and in addition to a passion for great wines, Jared and friends are committed to providing an exceptional product, superb value and innovative packaging that ensures you are getting the best of what revelry and Jared produce.

Today’s 2005 Columbia Valley Merlot is packaged in a traditional bottle, but be sure to check out Revelry’s unique Reserve Cask System. Unique yes, and when you taste the wine, we are sure you’ll agree that they have accomplished their goals.

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Revelry Vintners in Walla Walla, Washington can be seen in this satellite photo.

One Response to “2006 Revelry Vintners Columbia Valley Merlot”

  1. Linda J. (Tik) Thurston Says:

    Wow! VERY drinkable. My husband says I should have ordered a case, not just six bottles. Smooth and hearty at the same time. I think the cask system sounds very interesting. BTW, have you made it to Puerto Vallarta to talk with Carmen at El Arrayan?

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