A reserve-level Merlot, this is blended with 9% Cabernet Franc and 2% Syrah, then barrel-aged for 18 months in new, one- and two-year-old French oak barrels. Oaky, smoky, charred and tannic, it's a bit of a bruiser. But dig down and you'll find cassis, black cherry, coffee, cola, licorice and tar—in short, a compelling range of dark flavors, all well-integrated. Drink soon.
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.