2014 Merlot

Red Mountain
Tasting notes

2014 was another warmer than usual year with bud break, bloom, verasion, and harvest happening earlier than usual. This is a powerful and bold wine packed with dense cherry and bright berry flavors and a little baking spice on the nose. The density and concentration are only enhanced by the addition of Petit Verdot.

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
Vintage2014
VarietalMerlot
Varietal CompositionMerlot 90%, Petit Verdot 10%
AppellationRed Mountain
VineyardHightower Estate Vineyard 55%, E&E Shaw Vineyard 45%
Aging19 months
Residual Sugar<0.1g/L
Alcohol14.30%
Volume750 ml
Cases Produced244

Red Mountain AVA 100%

Estate Vineyard 55%

In 2005 we finished planting 10 acres of vineyard: 6 acres planted with 5 clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, 2½ acres planted with 4 clones of Merlot, and ½ acres of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot – with all of the plant material certified to be free of diseases and pests. Our vineyard rows are canted eleven degrees off of north-south. This orientation more evenly balances the sun exposure on each side of the vine row, increasing the exposure on the east and decreasing it on the west.

E&E Shaw Vineyard 45%

The grapes from E&E Shaw Vineyard contain floral and feminine characteristics. This vineyard lends intense color, concentrated dark fruit and tannin structure to Hightower wines. Most of Red Mountain is covered by Worden Silt Loam. This soil type retains very little moisture and contains little organic material, both causing the grapes to struggle tremendously. This struggle, channels the vine's energy where it needs to be – in the berries. Red Mountain is one of the warmest sites in Washington and receives an average of 6 inches rainfall per year.

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.

2014 Merlot
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