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Spring Valley Vineyard 2009 Uriah, Walla Walla Valley, $50
Winemaker Serge Laville grew up in the Rhône Valley and had the opportunity to taste some of France’s greatest wine early in life – like before he was a teenager. After working as a photographer, Laville turned to winemaking, and during a visit to the United States met Devin Corkrum Derby, winemaker for Spring Valley. He joined the winery in 2002, then took over head winemaking duties when Derby tragically died in 2004. This superb red blend leads with Merlot (54%) and includes Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. It opens with aromas of cherry, chocolate, caramel and a wisp of Swisher Sweets. On the palate, a rich wine reveals itself behind sturdy tannins, leading to flavors of dark berries and black tea.
Production: 2,500 cases