Uriah Corkrum’s great-great granddaughter, Kate Derby, recently took over as the head winemaker of this Ste. Michelle Wine Estates brand, but she’s been working in the cellar at her family’s estate on the edge of the Palouse and east of the Walla Walla Regional Airport since 2011. The team’s blend takes a Right Bank-Bordeaux approach by leading with Merlot (46%) and layering with Cabernet Franc (23%), Cabernet Sauvignon (14%) and late-ripening Petit Verdot. Aromas of lavender, blackberry candy and bittersweet chocolate — a legacy of 30 months in French oak — lead to a stream of fruit-forward flavors ranging from blueberry to Bing cherry and pomegranate. A solid core of tannin pushes out through the finish where that fruit continues to hang on.
Rating: 88 points — Excellent
Production: 695 cases