Weinbau Vineyard on the sultry Wahluke Slope has no problem ripening Merlot, which drives this blend backed by Cabernet Sauvignon (28%) from The Benches in the Horse Heaven Hills and contributions of Malbec (18%) and Syrah (4%). Its plump nose is one of blueberry preserves and dried cherry with lime and Horse Heaven Hills minerality. The structure is approachable and rich, gathering up more blueberry and other purple fruits such as blackcurrant and elderberry, finished with Montmorency cherry for a bright finish. Many of the Nine Hats wines – a sister project of famed Long Shadows Vintners in Walla Walla – wind up on “Best Buy” list of magazines and warehouses, and this is no exception.
Production: 6,431 cases