The Fries family, winners of 10 career Platinums, left behind one of the Northwest’s top value reds when they sold their Prosser winery and their Washington vineyards in 2020 to Columbia Valley growers Joshua Lawrence and Tom Merkle. It’s a wide-ranging eight-variety blend that’s primarily Merlot (40%) and Syrah (33%), but the roles of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Carménère provide some elegance. The sweet nose of blackberry and vanilla bean gathers up notes of cured meat and sarsaparilla for a smooth and fun wine that’s made beautiful with lingering touches of cassis and pomegranate syrup. Awards: Sunset International (gold), Bellingham Northwest (double gold).
Rating: Double Platinum, 97 points
Production: 5,000 cases