2018 Merlot - Étouffant (750ml)
2018 Étouffant Merlot
Name Origin: Étouffant - (French) noun: Sultry
2018 Washington Merlot
14.5% Alc. by volume
Stillwater Creek Vineyard
Wahluke Slope - Columbia Valley, WA AVA
The bigger the grape, the more beautiful the wine! That’s a common compliment we receive about Pam’s winemaking skills. Merlot is the 2nd-most-commonly produced grape in Washington, and in this 2018 vintage, winemaker Pamela continues to bring our wine club members and guests some of the most award-winning ang gorgeous Merlots the state has to offer. Étouffant means “sultry” in French – and this 4th vintage of our Washington Merlot vertical doesn’t disappoint.
Étouffant is complex as complex can be - both on the nose and on the palate. Upon swirling, your nose is welcomed with a beautiful gush of ripe, juicy, balanced fruit aromas sandwiched with outdoor scents of violets and cedar on one side – and kitchen table smells of toffee, caramel, and vanilla on the other. On the palate, experience integrated tannins with ripe, luscious red to black fruit, a tich of sweet mint, and baking spices on the back palate. This sultry stunner, like her sisters, has a nice long finish.
With 18-months in French Oak, and 1 year of bottle aging under its belt – Étouffant is young but not closed or tight. Swirl or decant Étouffant for a bit for the ultimate pour…but know like her earlier incarnations – she’ll last a good 7-12 years!
A variety of foods pairs well with Merlot. Because Merlot is medium-bodied, it pairs easily with medium-weight foods: grilled Portobello's, meatloaf, Italian-style sausages, lamb, duck with fruit sauce, and dishes with mushrooms and berries are good matches. For braised meat pairings, try complementing Merlot’s boisterous fruit notes with chimichurri sauce.