Mark Takagi, specialty sales director of Metropolitan Market, also ranks as one of the Pacific Northwest’s top wine judges, so it makes sense the Seattle-based, high-end grocery group appointed him as director of winemaking for its new tier of in-store wines under a brand abandoned nearly 20 years ago by Columbia Winery. Takagi’s skill in blending lots from Alder Ridge, Black Rock, Canyon Vineyard Ranch and Doval vineyards checks out beautifully. He focused on fruit expression, rather than barrel influences, which explains aromas of dusty cherry, blueberry and fresh cedar bark. On the palate, the drink is a lighter style than many Merlots from Washington, featuring expressive flavors of black raspberry, ripe blueberry and Bing cherry. Food-friendly acidity and tamed tannins will allow for pairings with a lean roast or New York strip.
Production: 500 cases