Walla Walla Valley winemaker Tanya Woodley appears to have found a sweet spot for Merlot along the Snake River, upstream from Ice Harbor Dam, at Lodmell Vineyards. Her two-barrel lot with 30 percent new oak offers aromas of plump dark blueberries, cherries on parchment paper and ripe Damson plum joined by cocoa and black pepper. The juice is hedonistic, dark and toasty with massive levels of those same tones of dark blue fruit. While the tannins assert themselves, there’s plenty of fruit to support the structure that’s accented by Aussie-style black licorice and horehound. These wines are available in the Puget Sound at Leschi Market, The Wine Alley in Renton and QFC stores at Westwood Village and Capitol Hill. In the Columbia Valley, look for them at Yoke’s Fresh Market locations in the Tri-Cities, Olive Marketplace & Cafe and Whitehouse Crawford in Walla Walla and Whoopemup Hollow Cafe in Waitsburg.
Production: 48 cases