Les Collines Vineyard, managed by the McKibben family, has become the breadbasket for a growing number of wineries in the Walla Walla Valley and beyond. Burnt Bridge Cellars in downtown Vancouver, Wash., makes it a focus of its program, including its whimsically named Blend X. Merlot (50%) leads Ben Stuart’s blend, which follows with Cabernet Sauvignon (25%), Cabernet Franc (12.5%) and Syrah (12.5%). There’s hedonism from start to finish, beginning with aromas of vanilla, cocoa powder and toasted oak among cherry and blueberry. The fluid is beautifully balanced as black currant, cherry and blackberry stream through sublime tannins, capped by blueberry, licorice and roasted coffee. For the second straight vintage, Blend X has merited our top rating, and fortunately, production was bumped by more than 30 percent from the 2013 bottling.
Production: 195 cases
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