Great Northwest Wine made its decision to name Westport as the 2022 Washington Winery of the Year two months prior to this comparative tasting, and winemaker Mark Bosso helped us look smart by crafting one of the top-scoring examples of Merlot. It’s also one of the most youthful. In recent years, the Roberts family has deepened its relationship with grower Joe Hattrup, and that’s paid off with access to his highly decorated Elephant Mountain Vineyard. It has yielded a Merlot featuring intensely extracted black cherry and dark plum as vanilla bean and ground nutmeg bring a bold structure with big fruit to support. One judge wondered if this came from venerable Portteus Vineyard — another site in the Rattlesnake Hills. A portion of the sales of this award-winner are donated to the International Mermaid Museum. Enjoy it with the Garlic Dijon-Encrusted Prime Rib at the on-premise Sea Glass Grill.
Rating: Gold medal – 95 points
Production: 157 cases