The 2021 Washington Winery of the Year opened 2022 by producing one of the top Merlots in this tasting. Rob and Donna Mellison doted on these eight barrels of juice courtesy of Napa-trained viticulturist Ed Kelly. The hedonistic presentation of dark red fruit comes with elegant tannins and sensational acidity. “They really dialed in on the balance,” remarked one judge. And while it’s easily the most expensive wine in the tasting, the Mellisons won’t have any trouble selling it in their showpiece tasting room with a postcard view from above Lake Chelan’s south shore.
Rating: Double gold medal – 96 points
Production: 192 cases