Terra Blanca Winery 2002 Estate merlot

Another early WAwineman classic, 1st posted on May 19, 2008:

The Council eliminated my self-cleaning toilet! Where am I supposed to go now after a lush night of imbibing at Vic Steinbrueck Park with my homeys? I think they have something against peeps who prefer Thunderbird as their wine of choice. That, or there’s a fertilizer shortage and so it’s time to reinvigorate the grass with my own metabolic castings. Anywayz…
Okay, so I’m pissed that Best Buy closed at 9pm and I showed up at 9:11 to pick up my Wii Fit and they wouldn’t let me in. Hello? Customer service?! Like they knew I paid my 500 centavos to reserve a phreakin’ copy and that I promised I wouldn’t shop at their competitor, Circuit Village. And, it’s like the blasted gadget costs a herkin’ $90 to begin with… Hey, I’m not also the “Master of Whine Enjoyment” fer nothing, ya know. I’m sucha prude sometimes. But, I digress.
So the heck with this Columbia Valley blend stuff…I want my Red Mountain! And, thank you Terra Blanca for this gem from Benton City. The winery sits on 300 acres of prime Red Mountain territory, for which we can thank the pathetic Lake Missoula for busting its banks and letting its mass of wetness flow freely at the Hwy. 99 speed of 45 mph to the Wallula Gap. The swirling sediment of Tums is what we can thank this evolutionary process for creating the terroir of this grand AVA. Keith Pilgrim is the geologist and oenologist who saw this diamond in the scrub and invested well before everyone else knew how good Red Mountain would be.
Tonight’s grub, after transporting the recycles bin to the curb, was Robusto! Ragu roasted garlic spag sauce with, duh, spaghetti and a side of cob. And, a (I’m not kidding) mound of Kraft Parmesan cheese. This bottle had personality the moment of the first pour. I think the neck is a little short and thin so the pour ended up splashing into my Riedel with the funny “glug glug” sounds. Keith obviously has a sense of humor, like anyone who would want to live on a treeless mountain. I don’t get it…but I’m from the city. This was a no-brainer match as the red sauce and merlot are a sweet combo. The roasted garlic matched equally with the unique minerality known to Red Mountain reds. This merlot definitely tastes a little different than other CV merlots. Definitely more character (read: evolving flavors) than a similarly priced merlot. No…no pain grille here. Not yet.
Alcohol: 13.5%. Predominant red winery until 2005 vintage when they started dipping into late harvest and ice wines. First bottling in 1997. Wife ReNae runs the business side and is an ardent supporter of organizations that promote the welfare of young children. Aged 24 months in small oak barrels.
Nose: soft but full scent of blackberries. Color: light black and red. Mouthfeel: warm jam mushed multiple times against the roof of the mouth. Tail trail: 5 seconds. Flavors: blackberries, cassis (black currant), moving to blueberries in mid-palate as the tannins rise ending with licorice whip with some drying. Transient minerality at opening that disappears upon exposure to air.
This is Red Mountain at an affordable price. Value: $19. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.
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