Waterbrook Winery 2012 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $14

By on February 12, 2015

Waterbrook-Winery-Merlot-nv-BottleBest Buy! John Freeman took over the winemaking at Walla Walla’s fourth-oldest winery in 2005, so he’s entering his second decade at the helm. Waterbrook has a tradition of producing cellar-worthy Merlot, starting with founding winemaker Eric Rindal, and this product of Precept’s Canyon Vineyard Ranch and Willard Vineyard follows that template. It uses just 20% new American and Hungarian oak — no French — to create aromas of blackberry, black cherry, tar and cocoa powder. On the palate, it carries more of a purple fruit profile with Marionberry, elderberry and blueberry amid a structure of bright acidity and sturdy tannins. Suggested fare includes steaks with portabella mushrooms, rosemary-influenced pork chops and tomato-based pasta dishes.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 2,443 cases

Alcohol: 13.5%

Winery website

About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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