Januik Winery 2017 Champoux Vineyard Merlot, Horse Heaven Hills, $40

By on February 15, 2021

Some could/would charge more for a vineyard-designated wine off Champoux Vineyard, and this bottling by Mike Januik ranks among the best and easiest-to-enjoy examples of Merlot released in the past year. His relationship with Paul Champoux and this site goes back to Januik’s days with Chateau Ste. Michelle, and he’s on the record describing it as “at the top of my list of outstanding vineyards in Washington state.” There’s some Cabernet Sauvignon (7%) in the final blend to add depth, and the experience begins with attractive aromas of Bing cherry, elderberry, blueberry taffy, tarragon and cedar. There’s a creaminess on the entry as it gushes with more blue fruit, making for a plush but textured structure with Bing cherry skins. And the bright juiciness at the end merely serves as a siren call for more. Back in 1999, Wine Enthusiast included Januik in its top 10 “Masters of Merlot” cover story. It would appear that he hasn’t lost his touch.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 391 cases

Alcohol: 14.4%

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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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