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Ste. Chapelle 2015 Panoramic Idaho Petite Sirah, Snake River Valley, $28
Meredith Smith took over all of the winemaking at Idaho’s largest winery in 2016, but she spearheaded many of Precept’s high-end programs in the Gem State prior to her promotion. She produced this Petite Sirah from Sawtooth Vineyard in a slightly lighter style that makes it approachable. Her work began in earnest on Oct. 1 when the fruit was brought in, and it spent 20 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Deep aromas of blackberry, sweet cherry, brown sugar and fresh dill lead to concentrated flavors of plum jam and blackberry tea. Full-bodied, lush yet balanced with bright notes of blueberry and pomegranate, it’s easier to get into than many Merlots from Washington.
Production: 205 cases