Burnt Bridge Cellars 2014 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $30

By on May 15, 2017

Hudson’s Bay Company set up Fort Vancouver in 1824, and grape seeds from England established the first vineyard for wine in what is now Washington state. About a mile to the west of that historic settlement is Burnt Bridge Cellars in downtown Vancouver. Merlot from a pair of McKibben-farmed vineyards – Seven Hills and Les Collines – made its way downstream from the Walla Walla Valley into the hands of founding winemaker David Smith. Ben Stuart took over in 2015 as Smith returned to oncology research, yet the transition seems seamless. Wide-ranging aromas of Almond Roca, black currant and blackberry include touches of freesia and oregano. Sandy bittersweet chocolate tannins gather up sweet flavors of black cherry and boysenberry, capped by a hint of chamomile tea, boysenberry acidity and almond paste. It’s about as smooth and medium-bodied Merlot as you’ll find from the Northwest.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 170 cases

Alcohol: 15.5%

Winery website

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles credited to Great Northwest Wine are authored by Eric Degerman and other contributors. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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