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Milbrandt Vineyards 2014 Traditions Merlot, Columbia Valley, $17
Butch and Jerry Milbrandt have plenty of acres of grapes to choose from, but they selected a batch from the Columbia Valley for this Merlot. Labeled “Traditions,” it’s a dark wine with spice, blackberries and a hint of mint in its nose, then more blackberries, dipping down into blueberries, and closing with sweet, carefully managed tannins in its close. Its abundant fruit profile and careful oak management give it an understated elegance. This earned a gold medal at the 2016 Cascadia Wine Competition.
Production: 9,188 cases