Two Wines from the Desert

desert vineyards

Vineyards in the desert of the Yakima Valley

Two wines from the desert – two different countries

Desert wine-growing regions have two distinct advantages over other wine regions. One is the dry climate, and the other is irrigation control. The dry environment offers vineyards protection from mildew, mold and other pests.

Irrigation control is something rarely discussed in the wine world. Since it rains so little in the desert, the vineyard growers must irrigate. They can control the exact amount of water needed to stress a vine and keep it healthy. There are no concerns about a heavy rainfall just before harvest approaches.

I found these two wines at my local Foster City Costco store. The Mercer Cabernet Sauvignon is from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA in the Columbia Valley. The Kirkland Signature Malbec is from Mendoza, Argentina. Two different countries, two different grapes, and two dazzling wines.

2015 Mercer Estate Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon $15.99

Mercer Estate Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Mercer Estate Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

The Mercer Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent example of the Cabernet characteristics coming from Horse Heaven Hills and other AVA’s of the Yakima Valley.

It is a rich Cabernet chock-full of dark red and black fruit flavors. There is a certain elegance to the wine, yet it cries out for something meaty. Ribeye with a blue cheese sauce is my choice. A juicy hamburger with all the fixings would also go very nicely with the Mercer Cabernet.

The price is a good one for a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon. I rank it at 89 Points. Decant it or let it breathe for a decent amount of time.

two wines from the desert

Back label information Mercer Cab

2017  Kirkland Signature Malbec $6.99

Kirkland Signature Malbec from Mendoza

Kirkland Signature Malbec from Mendoza

I like this wine very much; it is more in tune with my style of red. It’s moderate and very well balanced. It provides some easy drinking for a weeknight dinner. The Kirkland Malbec is more food friendly than the Mercer. I can have this wine with a variety of foods including pasta, pizza, chicken, rice dishes and red meat. What a crazy value at $6.99! Wine critic James Suckling rates the Kirkland Malbec at 91 points. It is 90 points in my book, and I plan to stock up. What a fantastic party wine.

If you like a rich and robust wine, then go for the Mercer Cabernet. If you want something lighter in style, the Kirkland Malbec will be your choice. Both are very well-made wines and provide lots of pleasure to your palate.

two wines from desert

Back label – Kirkland Malbec


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