14 Hands Winery 2013 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $12
Best Buy! Keith Kenison’s team in Prosser continues to grow in scale, but they don’t seem to be losing their touch with any part of their program as this marks back-to-back vintages in which they’ve received our top rating for Merlot. The aromas are layered with hints of Rainier cherry, smoky milk chocolate, light tar, toast and a pinch of Italian herbs. Its structure carries some grace with a smooth entry of black cherry jam, blackberry, earthiness and saddle leather. The medium body to the tannin structure leads to a dazzling finish of sweet dried cherries, coffee and cocoa. It’s billed as a barbecue wine, but suggested pairings also include Pasta Marinara.
Production: 300,000 cases