Chelan-based winemaker Kevin Brown takes an approach that we’re surprised more in Washington don’t attempt — building a wine with the firm base Merlot supplies and framing the midpalate with fleshy Syrah. Just those two, although they both are grown along the Brown estate on the south shore of Lake Chelan. Named for a Portuguese term for “a kiss,” there is a sultry elegance to the layers of succulent cherry juice, blueberry compote and Marionberry with lavender and rosemary accents. Brown’s wife, Jordan, a trained chef, suggests serving it with grilled raspberry and balsamic-glazed lamb chops. Award: Great Northwest Invitational (double gold).
Rating: Double Platinum, 97 points
Production: 197 cases