Region 'Washington State Merlot' - Year 1998
|drink soon||A good vintage for deeply coloured, fruity wines|
The growing season was one of the warmest on record, just a tad behind 1958 which holds the record for warmth. A warm spell in May set the hot tone for the vintage. A very hot August led to early ripening of Merlot. The conditions led to concerns about sunburn which is controlled here in Washington by canopy management and leaf cover exposure. However, the steady heat kept the berry size on the small side, and the fruit wanted to mature rapidly.
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L'Ecole No 41, Leonetti, Walla Walla Vintners, Bookwalter, Tagaris, Barnard Griffin, Canoe Ridge. W.B. Bridgman, Hogue. The harvest began and ended earlier than normal, but the quality was well above average.