Pepper Bridge

Estate Vineyards Walla Walla Valley Merlot

9.13 ratings
9.21 pro ratings
Walla Walla Valley, Oregon/Washington, USA
Merlot
Beef, Venison, Salami & Prosciutto, Chili & Hot Spicy, Potato, Exotic Spices, Lamb, White Rice, Baking Spices, Herbs, Pasta, Chicken, Mushrooms, Pungent Cheese, Turkey, Tomato-Based, Soft Cheese, Pork, Beans & Peas, Hard Cheese, Duck, Onion, Shallot, Garlic
Top Notes For
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

9.2

The 14 is a blend of 77% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc & 7% Merlot. Nose of; ruby dark cassis, blackberries, black plum, dark cherries, black raspberries, hues of blue fruits, pepper and liquid violets. The mouthfeel is lush & ruby. M+ body & M+ tannins. Blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, black raspberries and hues of blue fruits. Crushed rocks, soft leather, dry herbs, underbrush, loamy soil powder, notes of cigar, violets, dark florals, nice acidity and beautifully round, lush finish with sex appeal. Photos of; an aerial view of Pepper Bridge, estate grapes going through veraison, Owner-Norm McKibben, and ground shot of the estate. Producer notes and history...Norm McKibben is one of founding fathers of Walla Walla's wine industry. To his good friends and colleagues, he is better know as "Stormin' Norman." In Norm's 30 plus years in Walla Walla, the valley has evolved from a 40 vineyard acres to an appellation with more than 2,800 acres under vine. A good portion of the boom can be attributed to Norm even after coming to the game late after working for several decades as an engineer in the construction industry. Not wanting to retire after, he moved to Walla Walla to become an apple farmer. In 1989, he realized Walla Walla's potential for grape growing. Norm planted his first vineyard with help from his wife, Virginia and their eldest son, Shane. Two years later, Norm added Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. These vines soon became the backbone of Pepper Bridge. Not long after he expanded his business and resume further. Norm got involved in the budding wine industry. He served as a partner and director at Canoe Ridge Vineyards, Hogue Cellars and worked with a number of Walla Walla's leading vintners. In 1996, he partnered with Gary Figgins of Leonetti Cellar and Marty Clubb of L'Ecole No. 41. At this point, McKibben had increased his vineyard holdings to 200 acres. In 1998, Norm officially started Pepper Bridge Winery. Today, Pepper Bridge Winery is a benchmark property in Walla Walla and Norm is an icon of the industry. He manages and consults for more than 600 acres of the top vineyard sites in Walla Walla; Pepper Bridge, Seven Hills and Les Collines. Norm also has introduced state of the art irrigation systems, soil moisture temperature monitoring equipment and sustainable farming techniques. Norm is a big believer in sustainable viticulture. All of his vineyards are certified sustainable by VINEA, the Walla Walla Valley's Sustainable Trust, and LIVE, an Oregon-based sustainable viticulture organization. They are also certified Salmon Safe and are monitored by the IOBC, the international body responsible for setting sustainability standards. In 1998, the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers honored Norm as "Grape Grower of the Year." That same year, he was appointed chair of the Washington Wine Commission and served in that position until retiring from the organization in 2001. If there is a Maverick of the Walla Walla wine producers, it would be Norm.

The 14 is a blend of 77% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc & 7% Merlot. Nose of; ruby dark cassis, blackberries, black plum, dark cherries, black raspberries, hues of blue fruits, pepper and liquid violets. The mouthfeel is lush & ruby. M+ body & M+ tannins. Blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, black raspberries and hues of blue fruits. Crushed rocks, soft leather, dry herbs, underbrush, loamy soil powder, notes of cigar, violets, dark florals, nice acidity and beautifully round, lush finish with sex appeal. Photos of; an aerial view of Pepper Bridge, estate grapes going through veraison, Owner-Norm McKibben, and ground shot of the estate. Producer notes and history...Norm McKibben is one of founding fathers of Walla Walla's wine industry. To his good friends and colleagues, he is better know as "Stormin' Norman." In Norm's 30 plus years in Walla Walla, the valley has evolved from a 40 vineyard acres to an appellation with more than 2,800 acres under vine. A good portion of the boom can be attributed to Norm even after coming to the game late after working for several decades as an engineer in the construction industry. Not wanting to retire after, he moved to Walla Walla to become an apple farmer. In 1989, he realized Walla Walla's potential for grape growing. Norm planted his first vineyard with help from his wife, Virginia and their eldest son, Shane. Two years later, Norm added Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. These vines soon became the backbone of Pepper Bridge. Not long after he expanded his business and resume further. Norm got involved in the budding wine industry. He served as a partner and director at Canoe Ridge Vineyards, Hogue Cellars and worked with a number of Walla Walla's leading vintners. In 1996, he partnered with Gary Figgins of Leonetti Cellar and Marty Clubb of L'Ecole No. 41. At this point, McKibben had increased his vineyard holdings to 200 acres. In 1998, Norm officially started Pepper Bridge Winery. Today, Pepper Bridge Winery is a benchmark property in Walla Walla and Norm is an icon of the industry. He manages and consults for more than 600 acres of the top vineyard sites in Walla Walla; Pepper Bridge, Seven Hills and Les Collines. Norm also has introduced state of the art irrigation systems, soil moisture temperature monitoring equipment and sustainable farming techniques. Norm is a big believer in sustainable viticulture. All of his vineyards are certified sustainable by VINEA, the Walla Walla Valley's Sustainable Trust, and LIVE, an Oregon-based sustainable viticulture organization. They are also certified Salmon Safe and are monitored by the IOBC, the international body responsible for setting sustainability standards. In 1998, the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers honored Norm as "Grape Grower of the Year." That same year, he was appointed chair of the Washington Wine Commission and served in that position until retiring from the organization in 2001. If there is a Maverick of the Walla Walla wine producers, it would be Norm.

Aug 23rd, 2017
Alberto Vanegas

Alberto had this a year ago

Alberto had this a year ago

Jan 27th, 2019
Robert West

Robert had this a year ago

Robert had this a year ago

Sep 1st, 2018