Walla Walla Valley winemaker Chuck Reininger steps into the Columbia Valley with his brand that pays honor to family roots to the southwest in Helix, Ore., and, as usual, he leads this perennial blend with Merlot (47%), followed by Syrah (18%), Cabernet Franc (16%), Cabernet Sauvignon (12%) and Petit Verdot. The fruit sources that include Bacchus, Phinny Hill, Seven Hills and StoneTree are developed into a great example of an oak-lovers red, which features a theme of smoky French roast coffee, black cherry and dark chocolate. The tannin structure is akin to smooth flannel and allows for a voluptuous finish of blackberry and blueberry. It continues to be one of the best bargains available in the valley.
Production: 1,190 cases