Hightower 2003 Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot (Walla Walla Valley (WA))

A 50/50 Cab/Merlot blend from Pepper Bridge, this is quite tight and reductive but grudgingly opens out. It's a stiff, hard wine, layered with blueberry, raspberry and cassis, and annotated with baker's chocolate and anise. Dark and unyielding, it has the muscle and authority to age for another six or eight years. There's a hint of green tea in the chewy tannins. Paul Gregutt

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