In recent years, the Indian Wells bottlings refer more to this fruit-forward style rather than Ste. Michelle’s own Indian Wells Vineyard on the steamy Wahluke Slope. Still, those grapes factor into the program, and this Merlot gets a voluptuous boost from Syrah (15%). Pretty aromas of Chelan cherry and Red Vines licorice pick up complex hints of black olive, sage and minerality. The structure of the drink is smooth and medium bodied with plum and dark blueberry flavors, finished by dark chocolate and Western serviceberry. Suggested pairings include Arroz con Pollo, steak salad, hearty pasta and dishes with basil and oregano.
Production: 63,000 cases