89. Bergevin Lane Vineyards 2012 Calico Red, Columbia Valley, $15
Best Buy! Walla Walla isn’t a bastion for red wines priced in the teens, but here’s a stunning wine worthy of stalking and stocking up on for a variety of reason. It starts with some of the Northwest’s top vineyards — Pepper Bridge, StoneTree, Les Collines, Candy Mountain and Spring Creek — and the melange is led by Syrah (35%) in front of Cabernet Sauvignon (27%), Merlot (19%), Malbec (13%) and Petit Verdot. The theme is one of black cherry, blackberry and dark plum backed by dark chocolate, black olive, allspice and black pepper. A wisp of smoke and tobacco leaf add complexity. Judges at the Walla Walla Valley Wine Competition describe the structure with terms such as “amazing,” “perfect” and “beautiful” as they awarded it both a double gold and best red blend. Co-owner Annette Bergevin enjoys serving this with her homemade prosciutto, fig and goat cheese pizza, which she smokes on her Traeger.
Production: 1,759 cases