Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2017 Estate Merlot, Walla Walla Valley $34.00

By on April 12, 2022

David and Deborah Hansen, who met as students at Washington State University, grow Merlot at two of their three estate vineyards. But here, Debbie, the winemaker, focuses on fruit from Cougar Hills near historic Seven Hills Vineyard — home to the Walla Walla Valley’s first commercial planting of Merlot. Blackberry and a thin trail of smoke give way to a big pop of cherry fruit. There’s no distraction of tannin as the long and bright finish is reminiscent of blueberry/pomegranate juice. It’s a wine worth seeking at any of the Hansens’ four tastings rooms, a list that includes Woodinville, downtown Spokane and downtown Dundee, Oregon.

Rating: Gold medal – 92 points

Production: 186 cases

Alcohol: 14.1%

Winery’s website

About Great Northwest Wine

Articles credited to Great Northwest Wine are authored by Eric Degerman and other contributors. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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