Soon after launching the brand, Lewis-Clark Valley winemakers Rick Wasem and Lynn DeVlemming won best-of-class at the Tri-Cities Wine Festival for their 2004 Merlot. Considering their Merlot-led 2018 Rim Rock Red earned a 2021 Platinum and with fruit sources such as Sagemoor-managed Bacchus and Weinbau, as well as Willard Family Vineyard in the Yakima Valley, odds were that this bottle would score this well. It’s an oak-lover’s delight as pervasive tones of toasted walnut, mocha and vanilla play well with blackberry, plum and Marionberry. The fruit explodes on a palate akin to cherry skin tannins and elderberry acidity, and the pleasant finish brings along roasted coffee and milk chocolate.
Rating: Gold medal – 91 points
Production: 122 cases