Wine review: Snoqualmie Naked 2008 Merlot Columbia Valley

(Last Updated On: 05/16/2011)

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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