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Merlot 19

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Merlot 19
Merlot 19

Smooth as silk, rich with nerves of steel. A Merlot like no other.

Tasting notes

2019 OBELISCO Merlot

AVA:Red Mountain

Winemakers:Ken Abbott, Hope Nastri

Blend:90% Merlot, 10% Malbec

Vineyards:100% Obelisco

Bottling:304 cases 750ml 

Alcohol:15.3% vol.

Barrels:35% new – 100%  French

Tasting Notes:Beautiful deep red color. The first smell of this merlot surprises with a confident burst of blueberry, black current, earthiness, gentle spice and vanilla. On the palate, the wine radiates blueberry, vanilla, spice and dark fruit and covers the palate with a silky feel that lets you know you just drank a big merlot. The tail of the wine mellows into a mix of oak spice and blueberry and it sticks around for awhile. This is a Merlot that tastes like hard work, perseverance and nerves of steel, yet carries it off in an elegant wrapping. Classic example of good Red Mountain merlot.

Cellaring:Because it is made from Red Mountain Merlot and Cabernet this wine should age well for the next 10 to 12 years. Because it is Obelisco fruit it is soft and inviting now.

Production:All the fruit for this wine is from Obelisco Vineyard. The high density planting yields smaller berries, which contribute to the concentrated flavors, yet this vineyard always makes wines with luxurious tannins and mouth feel.  The aging vineyard is producing naturally tannic wines that do not need as much new oak to give it structure.

Harvest notes:2019 was another hot year in the vineyard, but the early set of the vines led to an easy and good yield.  Rather than worrying about yield like some years, we actually, trimmed back some of the fruit on the vineyard to make sure concentrations were good. The sugars and flavors seemed to develop at an even rate making the picking decisions easier for our team.  There was enough coolness in the evenings of the Fall to give us some extra hang time without the chemistry changing too much.  We were also able to avoid some of the smoke that some got from the wildfires that had been so rampant that time of the year.

Download Wine Notes
Varietal Composition90% Merlot, 10% Cabernt
AppellationRed Mountain
VineyardObelisco Estate
DesignationObelisco Estate
Harvest Date09/25/2019
Residual Sugar.01
Volume750 ml
Bottling Date05/11/2021
Country of OriginUNITED STATES
State of OriginWashington
Artificially CarbonatedNo
Sparkling WineNo

Obelisco Estates Vineyard - Red Mountain

- Elevation: 762-871 feet
- Acres: 30
- Scooteney silt loam
- Warden silt loam



The main 30 acre vineyard, designed and planted for the sole purpose of producing intensely complex, elegant and rich red wines, is located on the southwest facing slope bathed in sunlight throughout long daylight hours, with cool nights and the moderating effect of the Yakima River below. Obelisco Estate vineyard is perfectly situated to grow world class grapes noted for their structure, acidity and intense varietal character. The vineyard is one of the most intensely planted vineyards in the Northwest.

The vineyard is located in the Red Mountain terrior which is known for some of the best growing conditions for Bordeaux varietals in North America. The unusual soil depths and ideal cumulative maturation time are un-matched in Washington.

Ken Abbott

As the GM, I carry on the family tradition of producing wine at Obelisco with my Aunt Betsy and as a steward of the family’s style of wines. In honor of Doug who was the founder with Betsy, I and my amazing team at Obelisco carry on the love to help people “Celebrate Life.”

As the winemaker, it is important to carry on the tradition that was impressed upon me by my uncle. We strive to make intense varietals that stand out with their characteristics and don't let you forget that you are drinking a premium wine.

Wine that is big with lots of flavor, yet with approachable elegance, is the goal. I am always looking for ways to improve while staying within the family style that we love.  Incremental adjustments each year to maintain the quality have become the norm. We have to be a little inconsistent in our methodology every year, since the harvest is different every year. This way we can keep our wines strung together in the style that we love.



Hope Nastri


“I’m surprised it took me so long to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up, since I lived so long surrounded by vineyards and wineries,” Hope says.

The New York-born winemaker lived most of her life in Eastern Washington. The former high school math teacher and stockbroker started in the labs at Washington wineries Artifex and Goose Ridge Cellars before working her way into enologist and assistant winemaker roles at The Walls.

Hope has a fantastic palate and understood Obelisco's vision for making the best wine that we can possibly make while bringing out the characteristics of one of the best vineyards planted in Washington.

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