Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $15

By on November 25, 2014

chateau-ste-michelle-merlot-nv-bottleBest Buy! Ray McKee’s blending team seemed to put a great deal of effort in creating this oh-so-smooth Merlot, which is the Northwest’s standalone largest production of the variety. Syrah leads the 8 percent “secret sauce” component, which include Grenache, Malbec, Mourvèdre and Petit Verdot. The program of 30% new oak creates aromas of salted caramel, chocolate-covered graham cracker and espresso with fruity hints of blackberry, plum and blueberry. Its rich texture comes with flavors of Marionberry, elderberry and blueberry, which are framed by a chocolaty midpalate, balanced tannins and a drop of maple syrup. Suggested pairings courtesy of Ste. Michelle’s culinary team include herb-influenced grilled salmon, lamb and tomato-based pasta.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 118,000 cases

Alcohol: 13.5%

Winery website

About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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