2005 Helix Merlot Stillwater Creek Vineyard Columbia Valley - 3 Pack

I had the Pomatia a while back and it was outstanding. I am in for three and hope to actually put some away for a couple of years.

That’s a lot of driving to save a few bucks. Factor in all of your expenses and don’t forget about 5.6% sales tax…

Very interesting to see how different some vintages are rated among the big dogs.
Here is a direct link to the chart @ WE

We discussed some of the “non foodie” descriptors in the 2/11 thread, including “pencil lead.”

Wow, heavy hitters so far this week. Whats tomorrow, Corison, then Caton then Wellington for Friday?

Thanks for those links! Being relatively new to wine, I hadn’t seen anything like that.

On a side note I found it exceptionally annoying that I had to make a dummy FB account to dl the Wine Enthusiast’s chart :frowning:

I concur on all counts. Three for me :slight_smile: (And I’m anti-Sideways. I find the anti-Merlot thing emerging from this movie rather annoying.)

I wouldn’t blame the movie. I’d blame the public for letting their preferences be guided by a line from a fictional comedy.

BTW, the article I read about “Sideways” included several criticisms of Giamatti’s character, including his snobbishness at some of the tasting rooms and the “mistake” that, since his prized bottle of Cheval Blanc was made in part with Merlot, he shouldn’t have been so negative about the varietal. I interpreted all of that behavior as arising from his frustration with his life, rather than just his tastes.

Before the famous Merlot scene, he said he liked all varietals, just not the way some were made (he specifically mentioned oakey MLF Chards, which I don’t care for either).


I still don’t care for the movie. A bunch of privileged, white, heterosexual males having some sort of crisis and running around consuming awesome wine while being jerks. Also, I haven’t seen that movie since it came out so I am only left with impressions.

That’s another matter (sort of analogous to not caring for a particular type of Chardonnay), and one I agree with. Were it not for the winey theme, I would have had a hard time sitting through it. Both male lead characters were emotionally crippled in their own ways, and did very little to fix themselves. It made me want to slap 'em. :wink:

But many respected critics, including Ebert and Maltin, loved it.

That’s the joke!


I’m tempted. I am a big fan of French Merlots from my days of yore, but that pesky SIWBM in place for budgetary reasons keeps whispering into my other ear.

And it doesn’t help with the comments like there might be more Corison, Caton, or Wellington around the corner.

I’m about finished with the six-pack of Ty’s Red I picked up earlier. And I only got two of Cathy Corison’s wine (kicking myself for passing on the Helios earlier) and it needs to sleep for a couple of years. And I’m also almost out of Peter Wellington’s Woot! Cellars Don’t Spille Le Black PN.

This WWP (Wine.Woot! Pirate) needs more booty!
(to lift the SIWBM)

So you’re saying you don’t like realism in movies

I have no knowledge, I was being flip in that Helix is well regarded around here and yesterday’s wines were very compelling also. Though that’s the bad part of here, there’s ALWAYS something awesome around the corner. NO wait, that’s the good thing. or is it? Only your credit card knows the answer to that!

Ah, yes, the infamous “notes of lead pencil.”

I ordered this last year, and failed to detect anything as unpleasant as that sounds.

In fact, my husband and I promptly disposed of 6 bottles of Helix like the lushes we are and enjoyed every one.

I’d say “instabuy” except I am so broke, I can’t even afford Manischewitz. Sigh…

re: the Helix name

In December 2004, REININGER Winery announced the debut of a new label - “Helix.” Helix sources fruit from the larger Columbia Valley, allowing for increased production and expanded distribution, while REININGER wines maintain limited production, focusing on fruit from the Walla Walla Valley. Ultimately, the family believes that “Helix allows us to expand our reach to a new group of wine enthusiasts.”

Helix wines also have a distinctive new label, featuring an image of a snail. Helix, the genus name for the Burgundian snail, is the creme de la creme of “escargot.” As the back label explains, the Tucker family has been wheat farming in and around Walla Walla since the late 1800’s. Kelly, Jay, and Tracy’s grandparents met, married, and owned a farm near Helix – a rural farming community near Pendleton, Oregon. With their granddad’s approval, they sold the Helix farm in order to build a new winery and create a second label. The Reiningers and Tuckers believe that “by naming it ‘Helix,’ we are honoring our grandparents and the agricultural heritage of our family.

FYI: Harvey Steiman at Wine Spectator rated this wine 87.

so how would you describe this wine? fruit forward, chewy, new/old world…whatever you can post will help. also, what varieties do you usually drink? regions? reason i am asking is i like to share with wife but she is patial to califonia type zins/syrahs that are fruit forward and not barnyardsie thanks

Exactly why it is impossible to trust the tastes and ratings of the big wine reviewers. They should all have disclaimers of the bias of the taster.

A bit harsh with your critical review of the movie. Most relationship movies are about crippled characters who find redemption and soul mates for their long suffering lives. That is normally the point of the movie. This one did it with comedy and pathos. The acting and writing were both very good. The locations selected were beautiful and the presentations about California wines reasonably accurate.

Concerning Merlot, while the characters feeling about Central California Merlots was accurate, Washington State has produced outstanding Merlots for some time. Often superior to their Napa Valley, Alexander Valley compatriots. Most California Merlots (with some grand exceptions) are basically “wedding wines”.