Washington State Merlot 1991: Drink soon
A difficult harvest produced a number of structured, well-balanced wines
Though it turned out to be an outstanding vintage, the year began by establishing a dubious record on December 28, 1990 which saw the temperature plummet to 10F/-12C below freezing which brought about a vine problem aptly named winterkill. The freezing days ultimately reduced the crop by about 50 per cent. Cool weather remained through the spring which delayed budbreak by about a month. The vines were able to catch up to the normal cycle since they were not carrying much of a crop. Veraison was on time and was followed by pleasant harvest weather. The picking was in full-swing by mid-September with picked by month’s end. So much attention was focused on the winter freeze that the overall good quality of the red wines was almost overlooked.
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Chateau Ste. Michelle (Indian Wells) Hogue Reserve, L’Ecole No 41, Andrew Will