Reininger Winery 2011 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $43
Chuck Reininger, among those who pioneered winemaking at the Walla Walla Regional Airport, pulls from Pepper Bridge and Seven Hills vineyards for this easy-drinking Merlot. It’s light on the oak with just 5% percent new wood, which allows for enjoyment of tones hinting at bacon jam, plum sauce, red currant, dark cherry and turmeric. There’s a dustiness to the Earl Grey tea tannins and cranberry acidity that lingers through the bright finish.
Production: 387 cases