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 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: email@example.com.