2001 Les G Klipsun Merlot

The other night I opened one of the few bottles I have left of our 2001 Klipsun Vineyard Merlot. In point of fact, it’s actually 92% merlot, augmented with a bustier of 8% Klipsun cabernet from the previous year. I remember it being… ample in its youth, but boys, I’m here to tell you she can still make your heart race.

Klipsun Vineyard inclines down a sun-baked hill in the Red Mountain AVA near Richland, Washington, supplying grapes to heavy hitters like Quilceda Creek, DeLille, Andrew Rich and — until they got wise — us.

Seven years later, the merlot from those shapely slopes still had curvaceous curves. Cedar and tobacco leaf wrapped around deep, floral fruit, forming a veritable Robusto of a nose. In the mouth, not quite as spectacular, but increasingly complex over the hour we drank it. Lovely, high thread-count, emery board tannins, more or less balanced with gobs of lush fruit — man, I’d forego my bailout-funded $18 million outhouse remodel if I could achieve that texture every year.

After all that, there wasn’t much in the way of a finish, sadly, but the ride was so thrilling it’s hard to complain too much. It really reminded me of the merlot we got from Horse Heaven this year, so even though the 2001’s nearly gone, perhaps this year’s model will take us around the track once again.

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