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Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2014 Renaissance Red, Lewis-Clark Valley, $23
The Umikers helped spark the renaissance of the historic Lewis-Clark Valley wine industry when they launched Clearwater Canyon Cellars with this proprietary blend in 2004. The first 100 cases of the 2014 vintage were labeled with the Washington/Idaho appellation. However, the blend is made from Umiker Vineyard in Lewiston, Idaho, and Rock n’ J Vineyard near Asotin, Wash., so on May 20, the bottles were eligible to be labeled as “Lewis Clark Valley” after the federal government established the new American Viticultural Area. Coco Umiker’s wood program of 17 months in 40 percent new American oak creates aromas of black currant, cola and Jolly Rancher grape candy with nutmeg, white pepper and herbal notes. Cabernet Franc takes the lead on the palate with cassis and raspberry flavors along with a touch of oregano. Strawberry seed tannins and juicy acidity make this an enjoyable drink that’s ideal with lean meats and tomato-based dishes.
Production: 475 cases