Fidelitas 2002 Optu Red (Columbia Valley (WA))

The meritage blend is now christened Optu, which recalls an old sci-fi movie but means “best” in Latin. Great vineyard sources include Champoux, Conner Lee and Milbrandt, and the wine, still tight as a drum, mixes herbal Cabernet and Merlot flavors beautifully. It sails along into the midpalate, then seems to hit a wall; perhaps with a bit more bottle edge it could edge up into a higher score. Paul Gregutt

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