Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review: **** $$$ Empyrean Eridanus Meritage, Yakima Valley, Washington, 2002

By way of background, opening thoughts: Today we will be trying not one but three 10-year-old red varietals from Yakima Valley in Washington State.  Coming courtesy of Barclay's Wine importers, the cabernet sauvignon and merlot are blended as a meritage and the syrah stands alone.  The wines hail from the Empyrean label, and each is named for an astronomical constellation.

Original tasting and review : This is Empyrean Eridanus Meritage, Yakima Valley, Washington, 2002, finished at 13.8% alcohol.  For this vintage, the mix is 57% cabernet sauvignon and 43% merlot.

In the glass: Deep burgundy, with hints of brick at the edge. 

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows sweet, deep, aromatic red flowers, with an inky overtone.  From the aroma, seems like this will be ripe, well-aged, but still aromatic. 

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact deep purple and violet in tone - think rich, deep blackberry.  Sweet blueberries fill the rest of the palate.  Remarkably intense, clean and long-lived.  Tannins are soft, just bold enough to provide a sleek backbone for the deep fruit flavors.  Finish is very long lived indeed, securing itself deep into your cheeks for a full minute.

In summary: Overall, rates four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.

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