John Freeman worked with a pair of Yakima Valley sites, Willard and Blackrock, along with Mirage Vineyard, a parcel near the Hanford Reach that helped Balboa Winery in the Walla Walla Valley achieve claim for its work with Merlot. Freeman uses a barrel of nearly 50% new French oak to help build a theme of dusty Rainier cherry and Red Vines licorice, accented with hints of tar and anise. Gorgeously suave tannins, not often used to describe Washington Merlot these days, allow for a delicious finish of cherry candy. Suggested pairings include braised lamb shanks, marbled beef or lamb stew.
Production: 268 cases
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