Maghee Cellars 2010 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $36
Woodinville winemaker Jean Claude Beck found a sweet spot for Washington Merlot at StoneRidge Vineyard along the Royal Slope near Othello. Complex and expressive aromas gather up hints of alder-smoked black cherry, strawberry juice, fresh-brewed espresso, cocoa powder, violets and orange oil. On the suave palate, it opens with dark plum, cherry and dark chocolate flavors that are presented with smooth tannins that slowly build and yield to pomegranate acidity, adding succulence to the finish. This Merlot was one of three wines from the Woodhouse Wine Estates portfolio to earn a gold medal or better at the 2015 Seattle Wine and Food Experience Wine Awards. The year prior, it was the 2008 Maghee Merlot that earned a gold at the SWFE.
Production: 300 cases