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Drumheller Wines 2014 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $12
Best Buy! A new brand for the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates portfolio, these bargain-priced Drumheller wines don’t spend a lot of time in contact with oak, just 10 months, and none of it new wood. That allows the fruit from Beverly Vineyard near the Wahluke Slope and Four Feathers in the Cold Creek District to take center stage. Tones of chocolate-covered cherries mesh with pleasant tannins, and the finish offers a trace of lovely bitterness that rounds out the juicy cherry palate. Suggested pairings range from savory dishes, lamb, mushroom risotto and rich soy-based sauces to strawberry-spinach salad or a slice of chocolate cherry cheesecake. This bottling was voted by many of the region’s top wine buyers as the best Merlot at the 2017 Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition.
Production: 11,000 cases