2004 Forgeron Cellars Merlot Klipsun Vineyard

Hello friends. Today’s offering is a reminder of why Merlot helped put Washington on the map. Deep, complex, and endlessly rewarding, this takes a hammer to misperceptions about the varietal and begs to be bagged up and served blind to Merlophobes.

I just received confirmation that we have first dibs on the last remaining parcel of this wine on the west coast, and those dibs come with a fine tariff attached.

There is much to love about Forgeron Cellars, but perhaps nothing sets the heart aflutter more than their release schedule. This marks the fourth red wine we have offered from Forgeron; the vintages on the other three were 2003, 2004, and 2005. Now we have access to another 2004. Considering that I’m tasting 2009 reds on a regular basis right now, it is a real treat to sample a wine being offered at something close to peak.

And there is no doubt that this wine needed some bottle age. It comes, after all, entirely from Klipsun Vineyard, smack in the heart of tannin country on Red Mountain (see location here). For those used to soft, vaguely insipid Merlots, this wine is going to be revelatory. Klipsun Merlots are just as structured and inaccessible in their youth as Klipsun Cabs, but oh the glories of bottle-aged Klipsun juice.

This is a wonderful time to access this wine. It is just at the tail end of its primary stage: the deep breath before the plunge, to quote Tolkien (nerd alert!). Drink it now to experience the purity of black-cherry fruit and the hints of mineral, tar, and tobacco. Or wait a year or two, watch the further emergence of those secondary notes, and watch that lovely cherry fruit take on a dried character. Either way, you will find a wine brooding and serious; one that demands your attention and rewards the attentive.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Jay Miller): “($46); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 92pts.”

Only 176 cases of this wine (100% Merlot, 100% Klipsun) were produced, and it was bottled in spring 2006, so we’re approaching five years of bottle age already. As I mentioned, we have access to the final available parcel of this wine, and it’s not large. Please limit order requests to 4 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. We should have the wine in the warehouse in about a week, at which point it will be available for pickup or shipping during the spring shipping window.

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