Chateau Ste. Michelle 2006 Canoe Ridge Estate Merlot (Horse Heaven Hills)

A good case can be made that the Horse Heaven Hills AVA makes the best Merlots in Washington. Soft, smooth and lightly leathery, this dense wine is loaded with dry extract, lending weight and depth to the young black fruit core. Barrel aging adds layers of cocoa powder and fine-grained coffee grounds as the wine runs into its finish. Paul Gregutt

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