2013 Pepper Bridge Merlot

Walla Walla Valley
Tasting notes
These grapes come from one of the old blocks at Pepper Bridge Vineyard, from which we started purchasing in 1998. This may be our all-time favorite of all the Pepper Bridge wines we have made. Redolent of red and black fruit aromas with a hint of spice and chocolate. The wine finishes with a very elegant and smooth palate.
 
As much as possible, we take a non-interventionist approach to winemaking. We place great emphasis on vineyard selection, picking, pressing, and blending so that Hightower wines are naturally beautiful and free from pretense. We let the powerful and concentrated fruit from Red Mountain speak for itself. The result is a collection of well-balanced, nuanced wines that reveal something new and interesting each time you open a bottle. We like to think they’re wines with character through and through — in how they were made, how they taste, and in the connections they inspire.
Download Wine Notes
Vintage2013
VarietalMerlot
Varietal CompositionMerlot 100%
AppellationWalla Walla Valley
VineyardPepper Bridge Vineyard 100%
DesignationPepper Bridge Vineyard
Aging19 months
Residual Sugar<0.1g/L
Alcohol13.50%
Volume750 ml
Cases Produced161

Compass Wines, one of the top wine shops in the US, has rated our 2013 Pepper Bridge Vineyard Merlot one of Washington's Top 10 Red Wines of the 2016, saying, "Hightower is another master of Red Mountain, so I will admit that a Walla Walla Merlot does seem a bit out of place, but 'holy grape stomp Batman,' this wine is awesome! Dark chocolate bars, a touch of herb and firm tannins. Is it possible this was made from Junior Mints? Wow!"

Walla Walla Valley AVA 100%

Pepper Bridge Vineyard 100%

One of the most famous and highly relied-upon vineyards in Washington State, Pepper Bridge is located in the Walla Walla Valley appellation. Trained on the Scott Henry and Smart-Dyson trellising systems, the vineyard uses revolutionary technology for its weather-tracking and irrigation systems. Pepper Bridge is made up of Walla Walla Silt Loam – wind-blown glacial loess with about ⅓ sand content. This vineyard produces grapes with bright cherry flavors and contributes voluptuous nuances to the Hightower Pepper Bridge Vineyard Merlot.

Tim & Kelly Hightower

Tim and Kelly Hightower founded Hightower Cellars in 1997 in Woodinville, Washington with a simple philosophy: "Get the best grapes and don't screw them up." With their grape supply primarily coming from Red Mountain, the husband and wife co-winemaking team set out to make high quality wine, beginning with their first vintage: 221 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Today Tim and Kelly aim to make wine that lets the powerful, concentrated fruit from Red Mountain speak for itself, producing wine with great character, that’s naturally beautiful and free from pretense. The result is a collection of well-balanced, nuanced wines that reveal something new and interesting each time you open a bottle. We like to think they’re wines with character through and through – in how they were made, how they taste, and in the connections they inspire.

2013 Pepper Bridge Merlot
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