Truth Teller Winery 2014 Wisdom Red Wine, Yakima Valley, $35
Texan transplant Chris Loeliger used the 2016 Tri-Cities Wine Festival to showcase his blending talents by earning a series of gold medals, and this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (57%), Merlot (19%), Cabernet Franc (19%) and Petit Verdot indeed brings balance and finesse. He relied on the Williams family for fruit from their Kiona and Heart of the Hill vineyards on Red Mountain, as well as nearby MonteScarlatto. Elephant Mountain Vineyard in the Rattlesnake Hills played a role, too. He used only French oak, with 38% of it new wood, for 18 months. The focus remains on purple fruit from start to finish, opening with black currant, plum and Bing cherry aromas that include a dusting of mocha and minerality. There’s a lushness to the flavors, carries along by Marionberry juiciness and a nibble of blueberry seed crunch.
Production: 124 cases