Best Buy! One of the least expensive examples of Merlot also ranked near the top, thanks to Ivy League-trained winemaker Joshua Maloney and the Aquilini family’s vast plantings across Red Mountain and the Horse Heaven Hills. The Cornell graduate’s use of American oak, 33% new wood, adds vanilla, chocolate and baking spice to the profile of blackberry, plum and violets, which come together for a creamy approach and enjoyable farewell.
Rating: Gold medal – 94 points
Production: 2,885 cases