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Westport Winery 2013 Mermaid Merlot, Columbia Valley, $27
Why does this Washington coastal winery near Grays Harbor release its wines so young? Because their fans drain the inventory so rapidly. That commercial success has afforded the Roberts family access into some of the state’s top vineyards, and in the case of their Merlot, that’s Two Blondes Vineyard — an estate site in the Yakima Valley for Andrew Will. There’s an ever-present theme of oak, starting with aromas of brown sugar, espresso and campfire smoke, backed by fruity notes of red currant and Van cherry with a pinch of eucalyptus and a handful of Original Chex Mix. It’s a lighter style on the palate with more currants and cherries, framed by well-managed tannins and a finish of toast and lime peel. The suggested pairing at the on-premise Farm to Fork Restaurant & Bakery is with the Farmer’s Favorite Prime Rib, and a healthy bite from the sale of this Merlot goes to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Grays Harbor.
Production: 162 cases