Though perhaps just a notch below the 2002 version, this remains the Merlot to beat in the budget bottle sweepstakes. Bright berry fruit is married to smooth chocolate, without appearing over-manipulated or laced with fake vanilla. Creamy and consistent, it's widely available at a great price. Over 172,000 cases were produced.
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.