Justin Michaud was new to Horse Heaven Hills fruit, Mike Andrews’ vineyard and Primitivo as a variety, but the Washington State University grad has proven to be a quick study. This bottle began Sept. 20 at harvest, and Michaud found Merlot (11%) to be a ready partner with this Croatian grape. Its intense cherry aroma includes strawberry jam, malt and fresh-cut hay, which leads to flavors of blackcap raspberry, black currants and blackberry jam. Merlot adds a welcome bit of grip in the tannins akin to cherry skins, and the structure wears the alcohol rather well. This vintage earned a gold medal at the 2016 San Francisco Chronicle, and last winter, it added a gold from the Capital Food and Wine Festival Wine Competition.
Production: 233 cases
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