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Claar Cellars 2014 White Bluffs Merlot, Columbia Valley, $22
Two vintage before this, the Claar-Whitelatch family achieved certified sustainable status from L.I.V.E. (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) for its picturesque White Bluffs Vineyard near the Columbia River north of Pasco, Wash., and Joe Hudon continues to excel with estate fruit for the Claar Wine Group portfolio. The Washington State University alum crafted a Merlot that provides dark cherry, baking spice and savory notes, joined by soft tannins and a long finish of blueberry that includes a pinch of sweet herbs in the finish. These wines are available in nearly 20 states and exported to China.
Production: 124 cases