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Apex Cellars 2016 The Catalyst Red Blend, Columbia Valley, $15
Best Buy! The winemaking team at this Prosser, Wash., facility for Precept has changed the concept of this blend over the vintages, and this time, it is a 16-variety package that leads with Rhône grapes Syrah (33%) and Grenache (20%). There’s some Mourvèdre (7%) hunting the background, too. Precept-controlled plantings factor into this as Alder Ridge, Canyon Ranch, Willow Crest and Waterbrook, but fruit from acclaimed Boushey and Gamache vineyards also have roles to play. Jon Zimmerman turned it all into a quaffer, opening with aromas of milk chocolate, toast and black cherry. Easy-drinking flavors of dried blueberry and cocoa powder lead to a finish of red currant and cinnamon.
Production: 4,222 cases