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Wine Pick of the Week

Monday, 05 November 2018 19:33

Mercer Sharp Sisters Red 2015 Picmonkey

2015 Sharp Sisters Red Blend


Mercer Wine Estates

Horse Heaven Hills (WA)

Variety: Red Blend

Alcohol: 14.8%

Suggested Retail: $25


“This week’s ‘Pick,’ the 2015 Sharp Sisters Red Blend from Mercer Estates, is a blend of several red grapes—half a dozen, in fact.

“The oft-heard phrase ‘Bordeaux blend’ refers to a wine made of any combination of grapes native to that southwestern part of France (but grown in the U.S.). Usually that means Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and lesser portions of grape varieties like Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.”

“Winemaking in the Rhône Valley of France also follows the blending tradition and may include of any of the many red wine grapes grown there. American winemakers intent on producing Rhône-style wines often make blends using Grenache, Syrah or Carignane grapes grown here.

“You won’t find a winemaker in Bordeaux ever using Rhône grapes, nor his Rhône counterpart using grapes native to Bordeaux. Tradition and legalities preclude that (quel horreur!). However, in America we’re fortunate in not being bound by such strictures. Our winemakers can pretty well do whatever they please in this regard.

“The Horse Heaven Hills of southeastern Washington is felicitous ground for the growing of both Bordeaux and Rhône grapes The Sharp Sisters Red Blend combines estate-grown grapes of both French traditions. It’s 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Syrah, 18% Merlot, 14% Petit Verdot, 10% Grenache and 2% Carignane.

“While Taste Washington Travel celebrates diversity and free choice for all winemakers, many of the blends combining Syrah with Cabernet +/or Merlot have seemed to be ham-fisted efforts. Too often, the Syrah has overwhelmed the sophistication and subtlety of the Cab (or Merlot). Fortunately, that is not the case with the Sharp Sisters red blend. The mélange is intriguing. There’s some herbal and maybe white pepper aspects to the aroma. Predominant flavors are blackberry and plum. A little of that smoky Syrah personality comes though and, though it lingers, it doesn’t overpower.”

Food Affinity: “Dry-rubbed baby back ribs, smoked or slowly roasted. Osso Buco, slowly simmered in a tomato-based sauce.”


Editor’s note:  Wines reviewed at TASTE Publications are encountered by our staff in several ways. They can be discovered at trade tastings or visits to wineries. They may also be purchased by staff members for their own tables or be those sent by wineries for possible review. This is an editorial feature, not advertising, and appearance cannot be secured by payment. More information can be had by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Last modified on Thursday, 21 February 2019 14:31


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