The slogan for this wine – Kikrland vintner Robert Delf’s young project with retired Seattle Seahawks placekicker Norm Johnson – is “The cork is up, and it’s good!” A major reason for its success is the work of Yakima Valley winemaker Robert Smasne. Another is the lineup vineyards factoring into the blend of Merlot (50%), Cabernet Sauvignon (20%), Syrah (15%), Malbec (10%) and Carménère. The include Golden Ridge and Spofford Station from the Walla Walla Valley, Cordon Grove and Verhey in the Yakima Valley, and Tasawik near the Snake River in Walla Walla County. They keep the focus on the fruit rather than oak, and the drink is very approachable with aromas and flavors of black cherry, black currant and Craisins. It offers a nice kick of frontal tannins that slide into a finish of sweet cherries that includes a lasting suck on the pit and bit of the skin. Those who buy the 2013 Serenade will be getting the same wine at the same price, but it won’t have Johnson’s autograph on the bottle.
Production: 2,744 cases
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