One of the “string of pearls” for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, this brand was developed three decades ago to produce some of the world’s best examples of Merlot. Along the way, winemaker David Merfeld also has earned acclaim for his Cab program. A quick look at its pedigree shows that it is steeped in history. In fact, it could be labeled as “Cold Creek Vineyard Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon” because “Merf” was able to pull all of this bottling from plantings dating to either 1973 or 1985. His 20-month French oak program, 44% new, helped the Washington State University grad to craft a dark, deep wine with aromas of spice, purple and blue fruit with flavors of black cherry, late summer blackberry and blueberry skin that finishes rather long with a flourish of smooth tannins. This earned a gold medal last fall at the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition, just as the 2016 Merlot did. Suggested pairings include ribeye steak, prosciutto-wrapped dates stuffed with gorgonzola or balsamic-glazed Brussel sprouts.
Production: 400 cases