John Bookwalter and Caleb Foster took a Right Bank-style angle with this latest edition of Conflict, creating this with Merlot (60%), Cabernet Sauvignon (35%) and Cabernet Franc. (They left Syrah out of the mix entirely, unlike 2012). It’s an French oak lover’s delight with an abundance of sweet toast, Weetabix and blackberry in the nose, but those barrel notes don’t loom nearly as large on the palate, which shows balance with red currant, juicy black cherry and creamy dark chocolate. The enjoyable use of Merlot serves as a delicious tribute to founders Dick and Louise Owings, who made Merlot the first red grape they planted in 1980 — at the urging of the great Walter Clore – on Radar Hill near Othello, Wash.
Production: 2,024 cases