Cloudlift Cellars 2012 Panorama, Columbia Valley, $26
Seattle SoDo vintner Tom Stangeland shifts the focus for his annual meritage-style blend from the Horse Heaven Hills to Arianses Vineyard on the warm Wahluke Slope, and Merlot (68%) leads Cabernet Sauvignon (14%), Cabernet Franc (14%) and Petit Verdot. His choice of an oak program influenced by a third new French barrels creates an atmosphere of alder smoke, chocolate syrup and maple with fruit tons of boysenberry, red currant and pie cherry. The flavors are rich and broad, hinting at blackberry, black cherry and milk chocolate, backed by pleasing sandy tannins and finish of raspberry and fresh cranberry. These wines are available at Arista Wine, Artisan Wine Gallery, All Things Wine, Black Door Wine, Chocolate Box, City Cellars, Compass Wines, Esquin, Full Throttle Bottles, Melrose Grill, Olympic Cellars, Palace Kitchen, Pike & Western, QFC at University Village, The Grape Choice, The Wine Alley, West Seattle Cellars and Wine World.
Production: 191 cases