Even in his less-expensive wines, such as this Columbia Valley Merlot, winemaker Charlie Hoppes gets excellent color extraction. Along with the color come stiff, substantial tannins; once in the mouth, however, the wine sets a different course, turning rather light and fruity. Tart cherry and wild berry flavors quickly give way to thick tannins and barrel flavors of baking chocolate.
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.