Kiona Vineyards and Winery 2013 Estate Merlot, Red Mountain, $25
In 1976, John Williams began establishing his Merlot with fan-trained trellising across what is now Washington’s most famous wine region. These days, the Kiona brand is steered by his son, Scott, and grandson J.J., and they prefer using second-fill barrels for the estate Merlot. That program, which tilts toward French oak, offers complex aromas of black currant and Damsom plum with hints of chocolate, coffee, white pepper and alder smoke. Blackberry and black cherry flavors are framed by sweet tannins and finished by a return of chocolate and coffee with a pinch of allspice.
Production: 552 cases