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V du V Wines 2013 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $24
Spokane urban vintners Kirk Phillips and John Morrow team a few blocks south of Gonzaga University to work with Merlot from Columbia Basin vineyards on Weyns Farms and Roxboro Road. The addition of Cabernet Franc (11%) from Riverbend Vineyard along the Wahluke Slope adds to its rustic, Old World profile which opens with aromas of dried and dusty black cherry, cured meat, vanilla and timothy hay. Its nicely managed tannins shift it to the lighter side of Washington Merlot and loads up on purple fruit akin to huckleberry and blueberry, leading to a bit of saddle leather in the finish. Suggested pairings include grilled meats and lighter, sauce-oriented dishes.
Production: 110 cases