Here’s the definition of a true “reserve” program — winemaker Brad Sherman’s best two barrels of Merlot from Destiny Ridge Vineyard. The prized planting of Alexandria Nicole Cellars owner Jarrod Boyle in the Horse Heaven Hills paves the way for a nicely structured red that exudes tones of mocha, dark cherry and strawberry fruit leather backed by mint and ground cinnamon. A late tug of tannin is akin to nibble of blueberry skin, which gets swirled into a long trail of blackberry juice.
Rating: Gold medal – 92 points
Production: 50 cases