Wine review: Snoqualmie Naked 2008 Merlot Columbia Valley

Snoqualmie is owned and operated by the fine folks who bring us Columbia Crest and Chateau Ste. Michelle wines in Washington State. Per their corporate mantra, this is a good value wine that’s well made but there’s one added benefit to this brand: Snoqualmie practices sustainable and organic grape growing. They limit water usage, use cover crops and apply no pesticides to the vineyards (read their blurb about it). But the sub-brand of Snoqualmie, “Naked”, is 100% organic. Their website reads: “… grapes used in the Naked wine series are farmed as “au naturel” as possible. ‘Naked’ is made with certified organically grown grapes in a certified organic facility.” So drink with abandon and with a light wallet.

Although I prefer Snoqualmie’s whites (like this one), this super cheap Merlot is great for those seeking Cab-like concentration in a lighter package. Black cherry, currants, and baking spice laced with sweet chocolate. Supple tannins, good acidity and a leathery finish. It tastes a bit hot with alcohol (at only 13.5%, this shocked me), but it’s not too overwhelming.

Sweetness: 1 out of 10
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Price: $14 – $16
Occasion: Tasted a sample sent from the winery.
Availability: Find where to buy it here
Food pairing: Pepper crusted red meat, rare burgers, semihard cheeses like Manchego.

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