Baker’s dozen of Northwest Merlot

By on September 22, 2013

House Wine 2011 Mountain Merlot, Columbia Valley, $11

house-wines-mountain-merlot-logoBest Buy! Walla Walla wine rocker Charles Smith launched The Magnificent Wine Co. brand in 2004 as a value label, and two years later he partnered with Seattle-based Precept Wine. There’s no pretense about these wines, which are widely distributed, easy to pick out on store shelves and open with a twist of a cap. This easy-to-enjoy Merlot sends out aromas of dark cherries, plums, pomegranate, milk chocolate and vanilla, and there’s some hedonism awaiting inside. Think of juicy black cherries supported by blackberry and blueberry, backed by ripe tannins and some chocolate undertones. There’s a bit of residual sugar, which makes it more appealing to those just getting into red wine and backyard fare such as smoked pizza and sliders.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 4,900 cases

Alcohol: 13.3%

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About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is a frequent judge at international wine competitions. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books. He writes about wine for The Seattle Times. You can find him on Twitter and .

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