Appellation: Horse Heaven Hills
Best Buy! The Mercer family continues to skillfully grow its portfolio of wines in delicious ways, and Subsoil is a young tier that they’ve enjoyed early success with. They’ve named this brand for geological remnants from the Ice Age floods that ripped through the Columbia Valley and continue to influence the agriculture in Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills where Mercers have been farming since 1886 when Willis Mercer arrived from Illinois. His great-grandsons — Rob and Will — oversee the vineyards and wineries with Prosser native Jeremy Santo, a Washington State University graduate, as the winemaker. The 2019 Chardonnay represents their third vintage with the Subsoil label, this is an incredibly balanced example that showcases the versatility of the Horse Heaven Hills. Soft aromas of apple, cream and Italian basil lead the experience. Partial barrel fermentation lends to the full creamy mouthfeel, but doesn’t overshadow the bright green apple, pear and peach fruit. Light brown sugar complements the fruit as it finishes velvety and dry. It earned best-of-class honors for the oaked Chardonnay category at this summer’s Cascadia International Wine Competition. There are seven wines within the Subsoil lineup, including a 2018 Grenache, so it will be fascinating to see how this label continues to grow with Santo as the winemaker.
Rated “Outstanding!” by Great Northwest Wine. (13% alc.)
Cases produced: 550
Food pairings: Enjoy with Dungeness crab, delicate white fish, spicy Asian fare, Buffalo wings, pork, summertime salads or soups featuring onions, leeks or mushrooms.
Mercer Estates Winery
3100 Lee Road
Prosser, WA 99350
During the pandemic, curbside pickup is available at the Prosser tasting room Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment.
Great Northwest Wine