The secret ingredient in this interesting Merlot is the addition of 16% Syrah. That, plus a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon, give it streaks of flavors far more interesting than most of the California Merlots in this price range. Black cherry, plum and pepper are there, along with hints of leather, olive and herb. It smoothes out nicely across the palate, finishing with well-modulated tannins.
Paul Gregutt is a Contributing Editor for Wine Enthusiast magazine, a founding member of the magazine’s Tasting Panel, and reviews the wines of Oregon and Canada. The author of the critically-acclaimed Washington Wines & Wineries—The Essential Guide, he consulted on the Pacific Northwest entries in current versions of The World Atlas of Wine and The Oxford Companion to Wine.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.