Airfield Estates 2008 Merlot (Yakima Valley)

Checking in at a whopping 15.8% alcohol, this take-no-prisoners Merlot marries Port-like fruit to ripe, rich, massive tannins and a chocolaty wash of oak. There is enough acid to hold it all together—in fact, it may profit from another year or two in bottle. But the sheer weight of the alcohol makes it a wine to sip rather than guzzle. Paul Gregutt

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