Merlot retains star power in Washington wine country

By on March 5, 2018

Charles Smith Wines 2014 The Velvet Devil Merlot, Washington, $13

Best Buy! While it’s Cab and Syrah that generate a lot of the red headlines in Washington, it’s Merlot that remains the state’s workhorse grape. Charles Smith’s team sourced from seven sites, including Art denHoed in the northern reaches of the Yakima Valley, Goose Ridge near Richland and Sundance on the Wahluke Slope for this easy drinker. Tones of black currant, Chowards’s Violet candies and toast are wrapped in firm tannins and pulsating Craisin acidity. It shouldn’t be difficult to find it offered at less than this listed retail price, and Smith’s sale of this line to Constellation Brands means it will be even more widely accessible.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 149,500 cases

Alcohol: 13.5%

Winery website

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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